FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Broward County Public Schools employee has been given a seven-day unpaid suspension for showing up on Halloween in a provocative costume.
Mary Coker, 46, is head of procurement, overseeing millions of dollars in purchases for the district.
Broward school board members said she used poor judgment when she wore a “flasher” costume that depicted a naked woman under a trench coat to an alternative school brunch and a district office.
During the party, “Coker inappropriately ‘flashed’ children, staff and colleagues,” according to a complaint. Employees were offended and some said they couldn’t tell if the costume was fake or she was really naked under the coat.
Superintendent Robert Runcie wanted Coker demoted and her $155,000 salary be cut by $44,000.
“We definitely noticed there were children that were impacted. All those factors taken into consideration,” Runcie said.
The board did not agree with Runcie’s recommendation, instead voting to suspend her seven days. She was also ordered to undergo sensitivity training.
Coker apologized to the board, saying it was a mistake and begged for leniency.
Dozens of coworkers spoke on her behalf, calling Coker a good and competent boss who has saved the district money
Afterwards, Coker, who has been off work since the controversy erupted, said she was relieved and grateful for the board’s decision.
“Yes, it is fair. I made a mistake and now I am going to take the seven days. Thanks to the board, the superintendent. I am grateful,” she said. “Looking forward to going back to work very soon.”