Webster CSD superintendent abruptly retires after Watkins lawsuit
The former teacher and coach sued the district and town for false rape allegations
Webster, NY - Webster Central School District (WCSD) said farewell to Superintendent Carmen Gumina upon his abrupt retirement announced on April 29. The announcement was made only days after Kali Watkins, a former WCSD teacher and coach, filed a lawsuit against the district and town officials for child sex abuse allegations previously made against him.
Brian Neenan, the district’s deputy superintendent and the assistant superintendent for instruction, will serve as interim superintendent of schools effective April 30.
In the lawsuit, Watkins claims that Gumina, along with other district and town officials, publicly humiliated him and caused him “financial ruin.” He asserts that both the Webster Police Department and the school district did not do their due diligence in conducting a thorough and unbiased investigation.
Watkins further alleges that he was targeted because he and Gumina shared a sexual relationship with the same woman. The woman allegedly works for the district as well, according to other news reports.
Back in August 2019, Watkins was exonerated from any criminal charges. He had been accused of sexually assaulting one of the teen players on his Webster Schroeder High School basketball team in January 2017. However, his legal defense team was able to prove that he had a rock-solid alibi for the afternoon of the day when the alleged assault would have occurred.
The lawsuit reads:
“From its inception, the ‘investigation’ that dragged Kali Watkins through the mud was biased and tainted with animus. It was spearheaded by a conflicted police department and corrupted by a school district whose own superintendent had a malicious personal vendetta against Watkins.”
Gumina has been unresponsive to media questioning and appears to have deleted his professional Twitter account.
Webster Online has also reached out to the Town of Webster and the Webster Police Department for comment, but has yet to receive a response at the time of writing this article.
Gumina served as the interim superintendent for WCSD in 2014, following his time serving in the Monroe County Legislature. His superintendent role became permanent in 2015.
Gumina is also a former WCSD student, teacher, and principal. He has often been praised by the WCSD community for his positivity and good sense of humor.
“The Webster CSD Board of Education expresses its sincere appreciation to Dr. Gumina for more than three decades of service and commitment to thousands of Webster students and families,” Board of Education President Tammy Gurowski stated in an official press release. “We wish him well as he begins this next chapter and thank him for making a difference in our schools and community.”
The issue is likely to create increased tension in the district’s upcoming Annual Budget Vote and Board of Education election on May 18.
The board of education says it will keep the community updated in its search for a new superintendent.
Webster Online News will report any updates if more information surrounding this story is acquired.