Chandler makes apology to Tempe school district - East Valley Tribune: News

Chandler makes apology to Tempe school district

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Posted: Friday, April 18, 2003 2:40 am | Updated: 1:03 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Chandler’s city manager wrote a letter this week to the Tempe Union High School District apologizing for comments made by Chandler police to the media during the investigation of a teacher.

Detectives said that district administrators were uncooperative and failed to turn over information to police in a timely manner. The remarks were made after Grace Gamez, a Marcos de Niza High School teacher, was arrested on suspicion of having a sexual relationship with a female student.

In the letter to Superintendent James Buchanan, Donna Dreska said the police remarks were “unfair” and “contradicted some of the information contained in the police report.”

“The district was cooperative in turning over documentation relevant to the case,” Dreska wrote.

District spokeswoman Nicole Greason said the district appreciates Chandler’s efforts.

“We’re just happy that they’re taking a look at it and they’ve made the gesture to the district to say, ‘Yes we do realize this wasn’t handled the way it should have been,’ ” Greason said.

Two weeks ago, Chandler police forwarded information about the district’s participation to the Tempe Police Department. Tuesday, the Tempe prosecutor said he would not pursue charges against Marcos de Niza principal Frank Mirizio and head basketball coach Jeff Glab.

‘‘We still stand by our administrators and staff and believe they did the right thing from the very beginning of this whole issue,’’ Greason said.

Chandler police were called in to investigate because officials believe the events took place at Gamez’s Chandler apartment. Earlier this month, the Tempe district’s governing board voted not to renew Gamez’s contract next school year.

Chandler police detective Emma Bribiescas said she doesn’t question the integrity of her agency’s investigation.

“We are standing by our police report,” she said.

The state Department of Education said this week it is investigating whether Gamez should keep her teaching certificate and whether the district failed in its reporting responsibilities.

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