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Investigation into Vermilion Parish Superintendent on hold

Posted at 10:34 PM, Sep 20, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-31 16:08:45-04

The investigation into Vermilion Parish superintendent Jerome Puyau is on hold.

Puyau was placed on leave last month over allegations against his character and competence. Last week, he was cleared by a hearing officer.

Still, the board wants to continue its investigation and met Thursday to discuss the specifics.

At the meeting, the board faced a new hurdle. The attorney the board planned to hire to investigate Puyau rejected the offer to conduct the investigation.

In turn, the board rescinded their resolution until they agree on another attorney.

Another large audience was in attendance at the Vermilion Parish School Board meeting as the board continued their more than a month-long investigation into the superintendent.

“Whereas despite his placement on administrative leave, Jerome Puyau has continued to exercise the duties and perform the function of superintendent of schools,” said school board member Laura LeBeouf.

Some people went up to the podium, speaking out against the board members who are pushing to continue the investigation after the hearing officer cleared Puyau

“I’m not only disturbed but befuddled by the manner in which some of our school board members have conducted themselves by continuing to prong the cleared allegations against Superintendent Jerome Puyau. This board puts themselves first by spending money they claim not to have,” a teacher at the meeting said.

Others pleaded with the board to do a thorough investigation

“There are teachers that are still terrified by Mr. Puyau. There are parents who cannot talk to him. No matter what you decide, put him back or don’t put him back, it needs to be investigated,” another attendee stated.

“I don’t care how much we disagree. The children in this parish have always come first,” school board member Sara Duplechain said.

The board also unanimously decided to table the motion that would reject the hearing officer’s conclusion that would clear Puyau until they get more information.

KATC spoke to Puyau who says that while he’s been cleared to return to work by the hearing officer, he will respect the wishes of the board president and remain on leave until the issue is settled.