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Controversial school official’s post eliminated

Photo: Assistant School Superintendent William Fritz

Assistant School Superintendent William Fritz, the central figure in a variety of high-profile controversies, will be gone under unclear circumstances at the end of the current school year and his position is being abolished, according to sources.

The position of Fritz – who had been head of human resources, risk management, and busing since July 1, 2013 – was written out of the organization chart that School Superintendent Mark Rendell presented to the School Board last week, and School Board Laura Zorc subsequently confirmed that Fritz would be gone by July 1.

Neither Rendell nor any of the School Board members, besides Zorc, responded to a direct question about the circumstances of Fritz’s departure. Fritz himself did not reply to an email. 

School District spokesman Flynn Fidgeon said, “Dr. Fritz has neither resigned nor been terminated from employment with the School District of Indian River County,” but he had no answer as to what Fritz would be doing after July 1 since his position has been eliminated.

Under the leadership of Fritz, the School District’s health insurance fund for teachers, employees and their families went $7 million into the red, premiums skyrocketed, and department phones went unanswered when employees found they had been mysteriously dropped from coverage or that their Social Security numbers had been shared with others in a data breach.

Fritz also recommended Sebastian River High School teacher Joe Nathaniel be fired over an incident with a student.  A state administrative judge subsequently praised Nathaniel’s handling of the incident, and he was reinstated. 

In the organization chart presented to the School Board last week, Assistant Superintendent Bruce Green, who had been head of technology and assessment, was assigned to also oversee human resources, which includes employee investigations.

“I think this is a positive change for our district,” Zorc said.  “Bruce Green will do a fantastic job.”

Assistant Superintendent Carter Morrison, who had been head of finance and operations, was assigned to oversee finance and employee services in the reorganization. Rendell said Morrison will have a director under him who oversees risk management, which includes the health insurance fund.

The position “Assistant Superintendent of Operations” was revived, and Rendell said the job will be filled by a new hire, who will oversee directors of busing, food services, facilities and the physical plant.