Feb 19, 2013 7:37 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck
Lafayette Parish School Board member Tehmi Chassion is frustrated that a person without a high school diploma is in a position he wasn't officially qualified for, and he says he's ready to take action.
The special assistant to the superintendent makes more than $75,000 dollars. The position is held by a man who doesn't have a high school diploma even though the job description states he needs one.
The man has been on the job for over a year, but recently Chassion questioned how he was able to get the job. Superintendent Pat Cooper says without the diploma, he was still most qualified because of his real world experience.
At the last meeting, the board voted to re-consider the hire they approved, but Cooper says he's not firing the man. Only the superintendent can hire and fire for this position.
So a new move by school board member Tehmi Chassion, who wants to eliminate funding for the position all together.
"We can't have a superintendent that doesn't follow the rules," Tehmi Chassion said.
While superintendent Pat Cooper by law does have the power over hirings and firings, the board has authority over policies and budget. It will consider Chassion's request to pull funding at Wednesday's board meeting
"If and only then when policy is followed and the qualifications are met for this particular job, the budget line item will be reinstated," Chassion said.
But if the funding doesn't get voted down, and Cooper makes no changes to the position, Chassion says he's prepared to go one step further to make sure the rules are being followed.
"If he happens to not follow policy what it basically boils down to is, a motion to terminate the superintendent probably needs to be the next step," Chassion said.
Calls were made, but Cooper declined to comment on the board's consideration to eliminate funding for the position, because he says it's a personnel issue.
"Hopefully there is enough board members that see fit, that policy is not being followed and we can take care of business and finally get this matter taken care of," Chassion said.
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