February 23, 2005

Gilpin told district of lawsuit in '02

Bradenton Herald

Herald Staff Writers

MANATEE - Top-level school officials knew about sexual abuse allegations against former middle school assistant principal Joseph Gilpin in February 2002, according to documents obtained by The Herald.

An e-mail from Gilpin, dated Feb. 4, 2002, informed school district attorney Rob Shapiro that Gilpin was a defendant in a civil suit in Massachusetts. Then-Superintendent Dan Nolan was copied on the e-mail, and the subject of the e-mail was listed as "Per Dr. Nolan."

"Dr. Nolan asked that I send you this e-mail," Gilpin stated in his e-mail. "I am named as a defendant in a civil suit in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."

The e-mail goes on to tell Shapiro how to contact Gilpin's attorney.

Nolan, who spent 42 years as an employee of the school district, was superintendent in Manatee County from January 2000 to June 2003. Numerous calls by The Herald to Nolan on Tuesday were not returned.

Shapiro, still attorney for the school district, acknowledged Tuesday that Gilpin made him aware in 2002 of the allegations of sexual abuse. The attorney would not discuss whether other school district officials were aware of Gilpin's disclosure.

Posted by kshaw at February 23, 2005 06:52 AM