Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

SPC provost fired after officials say he waited too long to disclose arrest

The president of St. Petersburg College has chosen to fire a campus provost after school officials said he strayed from protocol, withholding information about an eyebrow-raising arrest for too long.

Marvin Bright, the former leader of SPC's Tarpon Springs campus, was arrested on Sept. 1 after Pasco sheriff's deputies said he forced his way into the home of a woman he had dated and choked her.

But school officials say it wasn't until Sept. 18 that Bright told them about the allegations. He has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of burglary of an occupied dwelling and domestic battery by strangulation.

EDUCATION MATTERS: Keep track of news and trends that affect you. Visit the Times education page.

"The dismissal is not connected to the allegations or anything regarding what's happening in the courts," college spokeswoman Rita Farlow said. "It's related to the policies the college contends were not followed."

Bright has defended himself, saying he attempted several times to arrange a meeting about his arrest with President Tonjua Williams. When Bright finally did speak with officials, they placed him on paid administrative leave.

A school official wrote a memo outlining Bright's "misconduct in office," including a failure to inform his bosses about the charges in a timely manner, delaying in returning his school keys and ID badge, and "not being truthful and forthcoming" when it came to documentation about the arrest.

That official recommended Bright's firing. Bright, 53, was then allowed a meeting with a college official.

Williams reviewed information from that meeting, including statements from Bright, and on Wednesday sent him a letter to let him know he was fired.

Bright's criminal attorney, Gerasimos "Jerry" Theophilopoulos, who was not present for the meeting, said Thursday that "the college clearly rushed to vilify him."

"We stand by Dr. Bright and the integrity that his name carries," Theophilopoulos said. "The writing was on the wall before the hearing even started."

He said Bright plans to fight back against the college.

An arrest report says that, early on Aug. 21, Bright entered the home of a woman he had dated periodically over the last two years. She told him to leave, but he wouldn't, a deputy wrote.

The pair argued, and Bright grabbed the woman by the neck and squeezed, the report says.

The woman sustained minor or no injuries, according to Pasco officials.

Contact Claire McNeill at cmcneill@tampabay.com.

SPC provost fired after officials say he waited too long to disclose arrest 10/12/17 [Last modified: Thursday, October 12, 2017 7:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hooper: Jean Chatzy chats about the intersection of wealth, health

    Personal Finance

    Public safety officials can readily identify a city's most dangerous intersections.

    Personal finance adviser Jean Chatzky is one of several high profile speakers on the slate for the Women's Conference of Florida in Tampa next week. [Handout photo]

  2. Video: Buckhorn, Kriseman team up in Tampa Bay pitch to Amazon

    Economic Development

    Across the United States, cities and metro areas are in a frenzied bidding war to convince Amazon their regions are the best fit for its new headquarters, HQ2.

    The Tampa Bay area is no exception. …

    The first  video, rolled out on Oct. 19, 2017, features Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman welcoming Amazon and talking about why Tampa Bay would be a perfect fit for the second Amazon headquarters.
  3. Dirk Koetter sounds Bucs alarm: 'They're the players that we have'

    Blogs

    The other day, Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith was asked about the lack of production and pressure from the defensive line, especially off the edge.

    Then it happened.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (28) takes the field for the start of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the New England Patriots on October 5, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
  4. Police seek public's help as they investigate third death in Seminole Heights

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police are seeking the public's help in their investigation of three suspicious deaths in southeast Seminole Heights during the past two weeks.

    Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan addresses reporters about the latest suspicious death in southeast Seminole Heights Thursday night. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL | Times]
  5. Listen: Soldier's widow shares her call with Trump

    Military

    Natasha De Alencar had just returned home on April 12 after making T-shirts and pillowcases in her husband's memory when the Army casualty assistance officer told her there was someone on the phone for her. It was President Donald Trump.

    Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar was killed during a firefight with Islamic State fighters in eastern Afghanistan on April 8, 2017. His widow, Natasha De Alencar has shared the condolence call she had with President Donald Trump on April 12. [Image from video via Washington Post]