Former School Administrator Denied Prior Allegations: Documents - NBC Connecticut

Former School Administrator Denied Prior Allegations: Documents

(Published Tuesday, May 24, 2016)

New documents released to the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters shed light on the allegations raised against former Hartford Public School administrator Eduardo Genao when he was a principal in 2007.

They reveal a first look at what teachers told state investigators, as well as Genao's response to the allegations of inappropriate behavior involving three students when he was principal at the Sports And Medical Sciences Academy. Those allegations resulted in an investigation by the Department of Children and Families.

The documents show the majority of staff members at the school interviewed by state investigators in 2007 said they did not witness any questionable behavior by Genao and, for the most part, had positive interactions with him.

But some of those same employees also told DCF about concerns at least three students raised with them.

In the investigation, a physical education teacher stated “The student told me some information that was making her feel uncomfortable."

A custodian told investigators "A student told me this summer the principal was emailing her after hours."

In another instance, a school secretary recalled a conversation with a student.

"She mentioned she was messaging with Mr. Genao. She told me that he made her uncomfortable when he shook her hand. The messaging was done at home."

Genao denied any inappropriate behavior.

The records provided to the Troubleshooters are largely redacted to protect the childrens' identities.

In them, Genao denied any inappropriate behavior.

"The only student I chat with is (name redacted). I immediately deleted (name redacted) from my chat list as soon as I heard these allegations," Genao said to investigators.

"I would chat with (name redacted) once or twice a month. I never said or wrote anything inappropriate. I have probably hugged and kissed in the same way I described above that we hug, kiss parents, students and staff, male or female alike," his statement read.

Genao added that he “carried on chat sessions with (name redacted) over the years I have known her. I do not recall telling her not to tell anyone that I was emailing or chatting online with her. I did tell her to erase the conversation. It is always a good thing to erase all conversations."

The documents show Genao also realized his actions could have been taken in wrong way.

“Sincerely from my heart, I see how things may have been misconstrued or misinterpreted. I can assure you there will be no more touching on the shoulders, no hugging or anything that could be seen and/or be interpreted as inappropriate."

Genao received a written reprimand, and was told to stop any questionable behavior.

The Troubleshooters obtained the documents after Genao was arrested last month in an unrelated case. In March, he was charged with felony risk of injury to a minor after being accused of sending graphic texts to a New York teenager.

NBC Connecticut has reached out to Genao's attorney for a comment, but has not heard back.

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