Fox 4 News | By Rob Manch | November 3, 2021
LEE COUNTY — Lee County School Board member Melisa Giovannelli is calling on her fellow board member, Chris Patricca to resign.
This all began Tuesday night when Patricca made comments at the Board Meeting in response to what she felt were attacks against her children on social media.
Patricca is directly accusing her former School Board opponent, Jacqueline Perez, of getting personal with attack videos on social media. She says Perez created videos including pictures of her children to attack her, but Perez denies that.
“Pictures of my children engaging in their activities at their schools have been featured in my opponent’s offensive and bizarre videos. I would hope that the public would agree when I say that my children are off limits,” said Patricca in the Board Meeting Tuesday.
“No one from our group has sent her children any videos or any pictures of her. No one is attacking her children. We are simply telling the truth. I’m retaining legal counsel to proceed now, for the first time, to sue the School District for slander, libel, and defamation,” said Perez in an interview Wednesday.
After Patricca made those comments Tuesday night, they were sent out in writing to media outlets, including Fox 4.
School Board member Melisa Giovannelli tells us she believes Patricca instructed staff to send that message out, and that’s not proper policy.
She brought that up in emotional statements Wednesday.
“It violated our own policy because we are not supposed to be directing staff to do any damn thing,” said Giovannelli in a Board Meeting Wednesday.
Giovannelli said, after Patricca’s comments were released, she has decided to publicly call for her resignation.
“For me, there’s no path forward with her sitting on this board, and I would hope that she would recognize and acknowledge the issues that she has and step down,” said Giovannelli in an interview Wednesday.
In her statements Tuesday night, Patricca specifically said she would not step down. We reached out to Patricca to see if she had a comment in response to Giovannelli’s statements, but we haven’t heard back.