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Director quits, two others fired in sex harassment case at PHCC

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NEW PORT RICHEY — A program director has resigned and two others were fired following a sexual harassment investigation at Pasco-Hernando Community College.

Nancy Bunch, director of PHCC’s Public Service Program, resigned Wednesday after she was placed on probation Monday for “inaction to investigate complaints that she became aware of,” said Lucy Miller, the school’s spokeswoman.

Don Ruminer, an instructor and coordinator of PHCC’s law enforcement training program, was fired Monday, the same day a complaint was filed alleging a female was the target of Ruminer’s harassment over a period of time, according to Miller.

James Nagy, a former instructor reassigned to conduct a safety survey of the school’s four campuses, was also fired for not cooperating with the harassment investigation, Miller said. Nagy, who began working as an instructor with the school in 1991, was not involved with the harassment.

Bunch, hired in 2010, was originally placed on probation, which allowed her to continue to work and draw a paycheck from the school.

Monday’s disciplinary actions came just 15 minutes after the complaint was filed, Miller said.

“Within 15 minutes of receiving the complaint, we had responded to the complainant and immediately began the investigation,” Miller said. “Once we were aware, the administration and the president was aware of the issue, we couldn’t have acted any faster.”

The Public Service Program is used as a law enforcement academy for those pursuing careers in that field. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office as been affiliated with the program for more than three decades.

Bunch’s retirement is effective Jan. 31, 2014. The school will conduct a national search for her replacement.

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