There are a total of five allegations in the report against Superintendent Jon Fernandez that the GEB deliberated before voting to terminate his contract.
Guam – A sexual harassment complaint, a sexual affair and numerous other complaints against the Guam Department of Education–these are just some of the allegations contained in an investigation report that led to the termination of Superintendent Jon Fernandez’s contract.
It’s the highly sought after and highly confidential details stakeholders have been clamoring for and now we have it: The allegations in the investigation and PNC has obtained a copy of the details that a reliable PNC source says was also summarized in the bill of particulars.
So what are the allegations?
The report, which was prepared by Guam Education Board contracted legal counsel Attorney Gary Gumataotao, contains a total of five allegations against the ousted superintendent. The first allegation is one that’s already out in the open; that an 18-year-old JP Torres Alternative School student filed a sexual harassment complaint against Fernandez. This accusation is what initiated this entire process. There’s an allegation that involves nude pictures of a teacher that were circulated around campus. Another allegation involves an Americans with Disabilities Act complaint. There’s also another sexual harassment complaint that Fernandez allegedly failed to investigate. But perhaps the most surprising allegation is about a sexual affair between Fernandez and a central office employee.
So what are the details?
Regarding the student, Fernandez is accused of offering a cell phone and touching the student inappropriately. The report states that Fernandez and the student texted each other at all hours of the day including the wee hours of the morning. When the student filed a complaint of sexual harassment, Fernandez allegedly failed to order a Title IX investigation and even took retaliatory action against her.
Next is the nude photographs of a teacher that were circulated on campus in December 2014 which gave cause for teachers, students, parents and administrators to complain about it. The report notes that although Fernandez knew about the situation, he failed to order a Title IX investigation.
Then there’s an employee with multiple disabilities who was forced to perform traffic duties in violation of the ADA. This case eventually led to an ADA and Equal Employment Opportunity complaint that resulted in an $80,000 settlement.
The second sexual harassment complaint that Fernandez allegedly failed to investigate involved another employee with a disability who says they were harassed by a co-worker. In this case, Fernandez, the report says, failed to order a Title IX investigation.
Finally, there’s the sexual affair. According to the report, Fernandez had an affair with a subordinate. The report alleges that Fernandez and the employee went on government-funded trips together. However, the affair ended and Fernandez allegedly bullied the employee and, in retaliation, had her wrongfully terminated. The employee filed a sexual harassment complaint, but Fernandez, the report notes, failed to order a Title IX investigation, which also constituted a hostile work environment under Title VII.
The report cites several sections of both federal and local law that were violated to include Title IX and Title VII, but also Title 19 of the Guam Code Annotated, subsection 13200 or the Child Protective Act, which is considered a criminal misdemeanor.
Because of the numerous violations, the report says Fernandez’s actions have placed GDOE in danger of losing millions of dollars in federal funding and approval for future funding.
This investigative report was deliberated in nearly 10 hours of executive session before the GEB voted 6 to 3 to terminate Fernandez’s contract earlier this month. Lacking a clear explanation of the reasons behind the superintendent’s termination, Governor Eddie Calvo then called for the resignations of the three board members he appointed–Charlene Concepcion, Ryan Torres and Ken Chargaulaf. Concepcion and Torres have resigned. Chargaulaf has refused to step down.
The governor also went on a media tour to express his anger over Fernandez’s termination, noting that Fernandez’s firing was a hit job in order to eliminate Fernandez as a contender in the 2018 gubernatorial election.
Now that the Bill of Particulars has been served on Fernandez’s legal counsel Attorney David Lujan, next will be a public hearing. The bill of particulars, which will contain a summary of the allegations and the reasons for Fernandez’s termination, is expected to be made public at this hearing which has yet to be scheduled.