Former SMILE member plans to sue agency for racism

Posted at 6:05 PM, Aug 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-28 19:13:31-04

A former SMILE board member is planning to sue the agency. Monday night, the SMILE board voted to expel three of its members. One of them is John Billiot.

According to the board, Billiot was removed for excessive absences. However, he thinks he was targeted because of his race.

“It’s 2018. Why are people still being racist? Why are people still doing that? It’s a matter of people looking at your color. I don’t see color,” Billiot said.

Billiot says members of the board have shown racism towards not only him, but towards other people as well.

He says the board expelled him because he brought up concerns that the agency was choosing to primarily help black people.

“The reason why I say that is because my mom is disabled and I sent her there to try to get help,” Billiot said. “She was turned away.”

Billiot also says board members brought up his race during arguments during meetings.

“Whenever I try to say something during a meeting, I’m being told ‘shut up. Sit back white boy you’re just causing trouble.”

Billiot maintains that the board removed him illegally. Billiot says he has an attorney. However, he did not say when he plans to file his lawsuit.