SPC fires provost for re­port­ing ar­rest late

Tampa Bay Times - - Tampa Bay - BY CLAIRE MCNEILL Times Staff Writer

The pres­i­dent of St. Peters­burg Col­lege has cho­sen to fire a cam­pus provost af­ter school of­fi­cials said he failed to quickly re­port an eye­brow-rais­ing ar­rest.

Marvin Bright, the for­mer leader of SPC’s Tar­pon Springs cam­pus, was ar­rested Sept. 1 af­ter, Pasco sher­iff ’s deputies said, he forced his way into the home of a woman he had dated and choked her.

But school of­fi­cials say it wasn’t un­til Sept. 18 that Bright told them about the al­le­ga­tions. He has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of bur­glary of an oc­cu­pied dwelling and do­mes­tic bat­tery by stran­gu­la­tion.

“The dis­missal is not con­nected to the al­le­ga­tions or any­thing re­gard­ing what’s hap­pen­ing in the courts,” col­lege spokes­woman Rita Far­low said. “It’s re­lated to the poli­cies the col­lege con­tends were not fol­lowed.”

Bright has de­fended him­self, say­ing he at­tempted sev­eral times to ar­range a meet­ing about his ar­rest with pres­i­dent Ton­jua Wil­liams. When Bright fi­nally spoke with of­fi­cials, they placed him on paid ad­min­is­tra­tive leave. A school of­fi­cial wrote a memo out­lin­ing Bright’s “mis­con­duct in of­fice,” in­clud­ing a fail­ure to in­form his bosses about the charges in a timely man­ner, de­lay­ing in re­turn­ing his school keys and ID badge, and “not be­ing truth­ful and forth­com­ing” when it came to doc­u­men­ta­tion about the ar­rest.

That of­fi­cial rec­om­mended Bright’s fir­ing. Bright, 53, was then al­lowed a meet­ing with a col­lege of­fi­cial.

Wil­liams re­viewed in­for­ma­tion from that meet­ing and on Wed­nes­day sent Bright a let­ter to let him know he was fired.

Bright’s crim­i­nal at­tor­ney, Gerasi­mos “Jerry” Theophilopou­los, said Thurs­day that “the col­lege clearly rushed to vil­ify him.”

“The writ­ing was on the wall be­fore the hear­ing even started,” Theophilopou­los said. Bright, he said, plans to fight back against the col­lege.

An ar­rest re­port says that, early on Aug. 21, Bright en­tered the home of a woman he had dated pe­ri­od­i­cally over the past two years. She told him to leave, but he wouldn’t, a deputy wrote.

The pair ar­gued, and Bright grabbed the woman by the neck and squeezed, the re­port says.

The woman sus­tained mi­nor or no in­juries, Pasco of­fi­cials said.

Marvin Bright

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.