The LPSB voted 6-3 to accept charges against Superintendent Pat Cooper and pave the way for his upcoming termination hearing.
Photo by Robin May
Attorney Lane Roy
As expected, the Lafayette Parish School Board voted 6-3 to accept charges against Superintendent Pat Cooper and pave the way for his upcoming termination hearing.
Board members Tehmi Chassion and Mark Allen Babineaux declined to recuse themselves from the vote after a request from Cooper's attorney, Lane Roy. Roy cited a pending federal lawsuit calling for their disqualification from voting on any matters related to the superintendent's future employment with the school system.
"It's obvious the disdain both of these people have for [Cooper]," Roy said during Thursday's special meeting, referencing Chassion and Babineaux. "It's crystal clear, the plan of these board members is to remove control from the superintendent and give it back to the board. That's exactly what Act 1 prohibits. Their sole purpose has been to wrest control of education in Lafayette Parish from the superintendent."
Also voting to accept charges were Rae Trahan, Greg Awbrey and Hunter Beasley.
Five charges were presented to the board by its special attorney Dennis Blunt, who also recommended the board hire an officer to oversee Cooper's termination hearing.
The board, also in a 6-3 vote - with board members Shelton Cobb, Mark Cockerham and Kermit Bouillion voting against both measures - selected Rapides Parish District Attorney Jam Downs to act as the hearing officer for Cooper's termination proceedings.
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