Lafayette

Feb 22, 2013 7:25 PM by Tonya LaCoste

Attorney advises school board not to act on superintendent hire

The attorney for an employee of the Lafayette Parish School System says any board action against the man's employment is illegal. Since January, some board members have questioned why the man hired as the Assistant to the Superintendent does not have a high school diploma, which is required. At its Wednesday meeting, the board was set to discuss eliminating funding for the position, but instead voted to ask the Louisiana Attorney General's Office for guidance. The board wants to know how much authority it has in the matter.

When the board meets in March, it will reconsider voting on funding the position, although an opinion from the attorney general could take much longer.
In a letter to board attorney Jimmy Simon, the special assistant's attorney, Lane Roy, advises that the board would violate board policy if it votes on the matter. Since the board follows "Roberts Rules of Order," the motion at the upcoming meeting "must be made by a person who was on the prevailing side, in this case being Messrs. Beasley, Bouillion, Cobb or Cockerham," Roy said. But, the current motion is by Greg Awbrey and Mark Babineaux. "therefore, the motion is out of order and, in my judgement, it violates Board policy and procedure and should not be considered," Roy said.

Also, he says the motion can't be taken up because the position has already been funded. In his letter, Roy said the superintendent must recommend termination, not the board. "Without the recommendation of the superintendent, even if the Board should go forward in violation of its procedures under "Robert's Rules," termination" would violate law.

Roy went on to that the assistant to the superintendent has property rights since he's a public employee. For him to be terminated, Roy said there must be appropriate cause to do so and he has to be given an opportunity to respond.

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