Thomas finds Tate and School District did no wrong

In memorandum from Superintendent Malcolm Thomas to the Escambia School Board members, the superintendent reported that school officials properly reported the alleged sexual assault at Tate High School and that they fully cooperated with law enforcement. The only admission of fault was that the school district personnel needed additional training in the “areas of evidence collection and statutes pertaining to age of students involved in special criminal offenses.”

The memorandum included a Report of Investigation by District Investigator John Dobbs. Dobbs writes that Dean Venettozzi reported the incident to the School Resource Officer on the morning of March 2–“with all available information on the allegation.” Venetozzi told Dobbs that he told the SRO during a joint lunch all students interviewed had denied all knowledge or involvement in any inappropriate conduct. Principal Shackle joined them, gave them additional information and a second series of interviews were done.

All available information was given to the SRO on Friday, March 4. Dobbs writes that the SRO used the District investigative results to file his offense report. SRO Smalls was later counseled by the ECSO for inadequate documentation in the report filed with ECSO.

Dobbs writes, “The communication and cooperation between the SRO and Tate was superb…”

What about the report that Tate officials refused to cooperate with ECSO Special Victims Unit investigator on March 14?
Dobbs said that Shackle and the deans refused to give statements because they only had “peripheral hearsay knowledge.” Dobbs believed that “the provision of all available witness statements to the SRO would have been sufficient.”

This is where the report gets confusing because Dobbs stops talking about the SVU investigator and starts talking about the SRO. It was the SVU investigator Carmona asking for the statements.

Then Dobbs writes about the teacher and how she missed the incident entirely. He does recommend that the SRO get some refresher training on juvenile criminal and selected criminal statutes.

Here is the report: ThomasTaterSalad