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Second Boonsboro school worker fired

May 08, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION

A Boonsboro High School secretary who told authorities an instructional assistant had sex with two high school boys and allowed a student to drink alcohol was fired Thursday, a school official said.

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Phillip Ray, director of human resources for the Washington County Board of Education, would not comment in detail on the dismissal of Deanna Casto, of 201 S. Mechanic St., Sharpsburg. He said only that the action involved alleged violation of school board policies.

Casto's attorney, Kenneth J. Mackley, criticized the decision and said it was done in retaliation for Casto's "having blown the whistle" on the case involving the instructional assistant.

Mackley said school officials allege that his client drank alcohol on Boonsboro High School property, which she "strongly" denies.

Mackley said he will appeal the decision to the school board.

"I think this represents an outrageous, and I mean outrageous, miscarriage of justice," Mackley said.

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Casto was fired on the "flimsiest kind of evidence," he said.

Casto, who had worked as a secretary in the guidance counselor's office at Boonsboro for two years, last month told an investigator with the Washington County Sheriff's Department and school officials that an instructional assistant had claimed to have had sex with two students, according to court records.

Sheriff's Department Investigator Pete Lazich interviewed Casto, who said Brenda Sue Hargett, 34, had told her about having sex with an 11th-grade student and a 10th-grade student, and performing oral sex on the 11th-grade student, according to allegations contained in court documents.

Casto also told investigators that she saw a 17-year-old boy get into Hargett's car in the parking lot of Boonsboro High School and drank alcohol, court records said.

Hargett has been charged with three counts of contributing the condition of a child, according to court records. The misdemeanor charges relate to allegations that alcohol was supplied to three boys ranging in age from 16 to 17, authorities said.

School officials said Hargett was dismissed from her job on March 31.

Casto told Lazich that she had known Hargett since the beginning of the 1997-98 school year, and that they often went to high school sporting events together, said court records.

"She stated they also spoke often with each other on the phone in the evenings," Lazich said in his report contained in court records.

Casto related conversations with Hargett in which she said the instructional assistant talked about the 10th-grade student, court records said.

Casto could not be reached for comment.

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