ABBEVILLE – Some Vermilion Parish School Board members could be facing legal trouble for not showing up to Thursday night’s board meeting.
Earlier this week, four of the eight members walked out of committee meetings because Superintendent Jerome Puyau was in attendance. Thursday night, those same board members were no-shows.
In 2017, District Attorney Keith Stutes sent a letter to the board, and it warned they have a legal obligation to hold a meeting. At Thursday’s meeting, Superintendent Puyau called the roll only to announce there wouldn’t be a quorum. Board President Stacy Landry explained, “We’re having a boycott or whatever you call it, a protest.”
In the same letter, Stutes also cautioned that continued absence could be malfeasance in office.
Lane Roy, the attorney for the superintendent, said the school board can’t continue this way.
“What they’ve done tonight is do what a schoolyard bully does. If he doesn’t get his way, he picks up his marbles and leaves. Those are cowards; they’re not proud enough to come and tell you what they think and prove their point because they don’t have a point,” Roy said.
As for now, the board is still set to meet again in December, and there is no word on if those four members will be back for the last meeting of the year.
KATC has been following the controversy with Puyau for months. In August, Puyau was placed on leave amid complaints against him. In September, a hearing officer found Puyau faced animosity from some board members, but he should be immediately restored to his office. The board wanted Puyau to wait another 30 days, pending their own investigation, but that never happened. Last week, Puyau returned to work.