Duval County schools spokeswoman reassigned

Jill Johnson says she made 'offensive' comment

Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:38:20 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 23 2013 04:08:50 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The spokeswoman for Duval County Public Schools has been reassigned from her position for making an "offensive" comment.

In a statement released Wednesday, Jill Johnson said, "Effective today, I will be assuming a director position in Human Resources. In my previous role as Director of Communications, I made a comment that may be offensive to some. While this comment was not made with malice, it was a lapse in judgment and I regret the impact it has had on the department. I am looking forward to my new role in this district."

Details of the comment were not released.

Duval County Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said of Johnson in a phone interview he "holds her in high esteem," recognizes she's a hard worker with a great reputation in the community, and was ready to promote her.

He said the internal investigation revealed she made an "insensitive comment," and the reassignment is in the best interests of the district. He pointed out it's not a demotion, but a lateral move, with no cut in pay.

While the comment pointed out some issues with "the general culture" of her department, Vitti said his opinion of her has not changed.

The conversation that produced the "insensitive comment" took place before Vitti replaced Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals late last year. The internal investigation report will be released in 10 days.