ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – The principal at Zephyrhills High School resigns after being accused of offering teachers promotions if they had sex with him.

Steve Van Gorden, who is also the mayor of Zephyrhills, stepped down as principal amid allegations of sexual harassment.

Van Gorden told Tampa Bay Online that he came to his decision after “a lot of thought and a lot of prayer and a lot of taking to my family.”

WPBF-TV reports that Pasco County school officials were investigating Van Gorden after several teachers complained that he sent text messages to them 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 told WPBF. “But the bottom line is I’m truly sorry for what occurred and it’s not going to happen again.”

Van Gorden has not resigned from his position of mayor, though.

“Now I’m not working for the district I love, and the school I want to be at,” he told WFTS-TV. “It was devastating. I loved that school and I love the kids.”

There are currently not any criminal charges filed against Van Gorden. City Manager Jim Drumm told WFTS that he has received both calls of support and requests for Van Gorden to resign.

Van Gorden has over a year remaining as mayor of Zephyrhills.


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