Suspended Vermilion superintendent should be “immediately restored,” attorney finds

Posted at 9:35 PM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-31 14:54:22-04

A hearing officer has ruled that suspended Vermilion Parish Superintendent Jerome Puyau should “be immediately restored to his office.”

Lafayette attorney Ed Abell was appointed to review the procedures and complaints surrounding Puyau’s suspension. He provided his findings in a Sept. 14 report.

Abell wrote that he found “the offerings primarily a jumble of personal impressions and complaints with little relevance to the purpose of constitution ‘Cause’ for disciplining Superintendent Puyau.”

Abell presided over a Sept. 7 hearing about Puyau’s suspension. The judgment is the result of that hearing and Abell’s review of the complaint materials.

Abell wrote:

It is obvious, in reviewing these materials, that there is animosity against the Superintendent from some of the Board Members, and some of the individuals who submitted statements.  Perhaps, had the Board and other complainants come to the hearing on September 7 and expressed their concerns under oath, there would be more to consider.  They did not. And, as previously noted, virtually none of the members of the public, or the employees of the Board,  followed the appropriate grievance procedure so that their problems could have been addressed at the appropriate administrative level, and perhaps, resolved.  Instead, application of the Board Policies eliminated most of the complaints from consideration because they did NOT follow the policies.

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