Baldwin County Public School System Superintendent Dr. Alan Lee doesn’t mince words when it comes to the alleged sexual harassment allegations made against him by a principal who lost her job.
“Ms. Bracato made some accusations that were serious, completely false and slanderous,” Lee said.
The comments came during former principal of Orange Beach Elementary School Lori Bracato’s recent termination hearing. The board voted unanimously to fire her. The Baldwin County school board said they had a laundry list of inappropriate comments allegedly made by the principal that were detailed in a two-page termination letter.
“I’m pleased that our board is going to conduct an independent investigation, and I’m confident that investigation will verify that her accusations were fabricated in order to shift focus away from the reasons that she was terminated,” Dr. Lee said.
One of those reasons was an alleged quote to a staff member, saying, “If I had to be left alone with that child, I would throw her out the window.”
The termination letter states she was referring to a child waiting in the office for a discipline meeting.
Bracato’s attorney, Henry Caddell, said they have no comment at this time, but they plan to appeal the termination ruling.
As for Dr. Lee, he will continue to serve as superintendent in Baldwin County unless the independent investigation says otherwise.
“Paid administrative leave is used often times by the Human Resources Department when there’s a threat or potential threat that an employee will make contact with a child or another employee,” Terry Wilhite, a spokesperson for the school board, said. “In this instance, the employee was terminated unanimously by the board and is no longer even on the payroll.”
Dr. Lee said his focus is on the future.
“Right now what I’m going to do is focus all my energy on creating the best school system in our nation,” he said.
The school board is still in the process of finding an independent investigator. They hope to have someone in place shortly.