Vote to remove board member from SMILE fails - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Vote to remove board member from SMILE fails

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Tensions were high during  the SMILE Board of Directors meeting

During the meeting, the bored voted to remove a second member from the board. That vote was to remove John Billiot. However, it failed.It's a vote that Billiot's attorney says shouldn't have happened.

According Billiot and his attorney, Monday night was his first time hearing the allegations against him. Those allegations claimed Billiot disclosed  information to the media.

"We got noticed when you heard," attorney Charlotte Mcdaniel Mcgehee said. "Tonight at the meeting was the first time he got  the specifics of the allegations." 

Some board members say some of the information Billiot told was supposed to be private.

"Felt that it violated the trust in us," Zachary Landry said. " Things that was supposed to be private wasn't private behind some of  things he put out there in the public." 

According to board member Zachary Landry  who was in support of Billiot's removal from the smile board, there is only one person who is supposed to speak publicly on their behalf. 
"You need to come to the board and the board has to agree on it. We didn't nominate him to speak on behalf of the board," Landry said. 

Mcgehee added, "It's right that they would abstain and not hold something by surprise. It's not done in courts and it shouldn't be done in a public settings.The issue is not what he has allegedly done or not done. It's notice . In this case he had no notice. He had no time to prepare." 

The smile board also voting tonight to appeal a judge's ruling putting Africa Arceneaux back on the board. Last Tuesday,  a judge reinstated Arceneaux saying the board violated its bylaws by removing Arceneaux.
Arceneaux attempted to take her seat at the meeting Monday, but the board chairman said she could not be seated until the board got a signed judgment from the court.

"Right now, I'm trying to do what's right so SMILE can continue to get funding for programs that benefit our community,"Arceneaux said. 

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