School District: Principal who charged electric car at school violated ethical conduct policy

WSVN — A South Florida principal is back on the job after a "time out" ordered by the Miami-Dade School District. The action follows a 7News investigation. Carmel Cafiero is back on the case.

Principal Mary Parton is back on the job at John F. Kennedy Middle in North Miami Beach. Parton had been removed from her position last December after 7News showed her husband charging their Chevy Volt at the school.

Carmel Cafiero: "Who gives you the authority to plug into this facility for electric? And I understand you do this on a regular basis."

Gaylon Parton: "Do I?"

A former school monitor claimed the couple had been using the school as a charging station for several months.

Maurice Whitley, former school monitor: "He comes in around 3, 3:30. Plugs the car up and he hangs around until she gets off work and then they leave in her car. And they come back around ten o’clock or whenever I guess they feel it’s charged to pick it up."

Gaylon Parton, who is a volunteer at the school, denied that.

Gaylon Parton: "So I plug it in and then I go do the errand. I come back, unplug it."

Carmel Cafiero: "And you leave it here until 10 at night when you come back with your wife and pick it up?"

Gaylon Parton: "No ma’am."

Carmel Cafiero: "No, you don’t?"

Gaylon Parton: "No."  

Our story prompted Miami-Dade Schools to start an investigation. Mary Parton was reassigned for two months while the investigation was completed.   

She admitted to charging the car and told investigators she "sometimes charged the vehicle at the school on weekends; however it was not very often and never left overnight."        

Despite the fact that charging a car doesn’t cost a lot, around a dollar a day, the investigation has now ended with the conclusion Parton violated the school board’s ethical conduct policy.

Parton "never received authorization to use district resources to charge her personal vehicle."

Her punishment– a one day suspension without pay. She has never been reprimanded before.

Daisy Gonzalez-Diego, Miami-Dade County Public Schools: "Principal Parton has been an exemplary employee. She’s been with the school system for over two decades. She’s served our district and served our students very well and served that school very well. Having said that, we do hold our employees to a higher standard."

But the trouble may not be over– her teaching certificate could be affected by the ethics violation.

Daisy Gonzalez-Diego: "It will go before the state board of education… sanctions could be taken against her certificate."

We asked for an interview, but were told Parton was not available. A one day suspension may seem like a slap on the wrist, however, it’s now all part of Principal Parton’s permanent record. Carmel Cafiero, 7News.

IF YOU HAVE A STORY FOR CARMEL TO INVESTIGATE:

Miami-Dade: 305-627-CLUE
Broward: 954-921-CLUE
E-mail: clue@wsvn.com
You can also send a tweet to @carmelonthecase