JCPS investigating communications director Helene Kramer - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS investigating communications director Helene Kramer

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Helene Kramer Helene Kramer
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The executive director of communications for Jefferson County Public Schools is under investigation for a personnel matter, the district confirmed to WDRB News on Friday.

JCPS would not release any additional information regarding Helene Kramer, who was named the district's chief spokeswoman in August. "[The] records are preliminary and are not a part of any final agency action," said Rosemary Miller, legal counsel for JCPS, in an email. She added they will not be available until "such time when the requested report (and related requested records) becomes a part of final action."

However, multiple sources have told WDRB News that the investigation centers around Kramer questioning whether or not another district employee is gay.

Kramer, who is one of six members on JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens' executive cabinet, told WDRB News Friday by email, "The process is not complete, and we need to respect the process."

JCPS has a non-discrimination policy stating that harassment and discrimination is prohibited because of an individual's age, color, disability, marital or parental status, national origin, race, sex, sexual orientation, political opinion or affiliation or religion.

Kramer, who makes $127,698 annually, replaced Christi Lanier-Robinson, whose two-year contract was not renewed by JCPS.

The communications department has been the subject of restructuring since 2012, when Hargens froze or eliminated 89 central office positions as part of an administrative reorganization.

In March 2012, Hargens announced the hiring of Jamilah Fraser, a former chief communications officer with the Philadelphia Public School District to be the district's chief diversity, community relations and communications officer.

However, after questions were raised about Fraser's background and qualifications, Fraser sent a letter to Hargens saying she would not accept the job.

In May 2012, Hargens announced that longtime district spokeswoman Lauren Roberts' position as public information officer was being eliminated. Roberts, who made $129,000, took a $10,000 pay cut and was given a job in the district's human resources department. She was fired two months later.

Hargens then hired Lanier-Robinson as executive director of communications and community relations, a position she served until her contract expired in June 2014.

During her annual evaluation in June, Hargens was asked by the Jefferson County Board of Education to improve both internal and external communications in the district.

Hargens could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.
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