Lee County school board member Chris Patricca under fire again

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Chris Patricca defends herself during a school board meeting. (CREDIT: WINK News)

A Southwest Florida school board member is facing heat again but this time from her peers.

Lee County school board members are pointing the finger at Chris Patricca for using district staff after hours to send out a video of her defending herself.

The school board meeting ended at 9:45 p.m., her comments, along with a YouTube link, were sent out to the district at 9:59 p.m. Almost immediately after the meeting.

For around six minutes of Tuesday night’s school board meeting, board member Chris Patricca pointedly accused her former opponent Jaqueline Perez.

“My opponent has engaged in a vicious and relentless campaign to smear my name, my reputation, and the body of work I have engaged in as a member of this board,” said Patricca during the meeting.

But Patricca had a warning for Perez. She claimed Perez had taken video of her children at school to use in what Patricca called ‘her offensive and bizarre videos.’

At the meeting, Patricca said, “when you go after my kids, mama bear comes out, and I will do everything in my power to protect them. I will protect them with every fiber of my being.”

WINK News did not find those videos on social media, so we asked Jacqueline Perez about them.

“Someone sent me a video of Patricca not wearing a mask and in that email that I received the video, her son was playing football and he had to complain to the coach but he was ill for two or three days with possible COVID,” said Perez.

Either way, Patricca’s comment’s didn’t sit well with her board members.

School board member Gwyn Gittens said during the meeting, “to me it was an embarrassment, I think that we should have called for point of order because some of the verbiage was not things that we allow the public to say.”

Shortly after, Patricca and board member Cathleen Morgan got up and walk out of the meeting.

Gittens said after they left, “I find it interesting that everyone’s leaving so I guess there’s no appetite make sure that we are all doing what we’re supposed to do.”

This is not the only controversy Patricca is involved in.

Recently she made controversial comments about Guatemalan students being fascinated with plumbing, and both members of the public and fellow board members say she’s used her position to benefit kids in her district at the expense of minority students.

WINK News has reached out to both Patricca and Gittens for comment. Neither has provided a response.

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