Prosecutors want to question superintendent

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Published on KeysNews.com (http://keysnews.com)

Prosecutors want to question superintendent
Friday, May 1, 2009
BY JOHN L. GUERRA Citizen Staff

The State Attorney’s Office was still waiting to question the Monroe County schools superintendent about the allegations against his wife Thursday, the day she surrendered on an arrest warrant.

Randy Acevedo has not been charged or accused of wrongdoing. Monique Acevedo was charged with stealing school money when she was the district’s adult education coordinator, a post she resigned March 3, the day after the scandal broke.

“We’ve asked to talk to him, but so far it hasn’t happened,” State Attorney Dennis Ward said.

The request was made through Randy Acevedo’s Key West attorney, Jerome A. Ballarotto.

“I’ve been in discussions with Mr. Ballarotto on the possibility of sitting down with Randy. He wants to know the nature of the questions we’re going to ask,” Assistant State Attorney Mark Wilson said Thursday. “Mr. Acevedo can invoke the spousal privilege that protects private communication between husband and wife.”
There may be some exceptions, however. Conversations that occurred between them but in front of a third person would not be protected, Wilson said. A judge likely will have to decide whether the law protects the couple’s conversations about work, considering his dual role.

“He’s not only her husband, he was her supervisor and superintendent in the chain of command. How can he decline to answer questions about things he did or didn’t do in his official capacity?” Wilson said. “In his role as superintendent he can be asked when his wife’s misconduct came to his attention and what did he do about it. But the court would have to decide, does [the privilege]apply or not?”

Acevedo has not returned The Citizen’s numerous phone calls and e-mails seeking comment over several days and did not acknowledge reporters at the jail Thursday night.

Call for resignation
Meanwhile, the School Board on Thursday said it will not call a special meeting on Saturday to ask the superintendent to resign, but may address the issue during its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.

At the urging of board member Steve Pribramsky, school district attorney Dirk Smits on Thursday called the other four board members to ask them whether they would agree to an emergency meeting, but Smits was unable to get at least two others to agree.

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