The principal of a Florida high school has resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment, reports say.
Steve Van Gorden, who is also the mayor of Zephyrhills, Fla., stepped down from his role as principal of the local high school last week after "years of alleged sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior sparked an investigation," WTSP reports.
Van Gorden's resignation comes after a 300-page investigative report by Pasco County school officials into allegations of sexual harassment.
Several teachers claim Van Gorden...sent text messages offering career boosts in exchange for sex and threatened them if they refused.
"I crossed that line on more than one occasion with more than one person," Van Gorden said. "But the bottom line is I'm truly sorry for what occurred and it's not going to happen again."
The 37-year-old has not resigned as mayor, however, and reportedly doesn't plan to. He has a year and a half left in his term. Van Gorden tells WFTS that there is more to the story than what's in the report, including a previous relationship with one of the women and voluntary dinners and vacations.
The mayor also claims that he's already "paid the price for his mistakes."
"Now I'm not working for the district I love, and the school I want to be at," he told WFTS. "It was devastating. I loved that school and I love the kids."
As no one has filed any criminal charges against him, Van Gorden's city job is not currently threatened, but the mayor may have a difficult time convincing the Zephyrhills community to let him stay in his leadership role. City Manager Jim Drumm tells WFTS that officials have received both calls of support and requests for resignation.
Marcia Johnson, a Zephyrhills resident, told WTSP that it may be difficult for Van Gorden to regain the trust that he has lost.
"Who's to say if his judgment in that area, which is such a sensitive area is so poor, how can you trust him to make any good decisions?" she asked.