- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Police were called to the Lafayette Parish School System office Wednesday night after school board member Tehmi Chassion accused Superintendent Pat Cooper of grabbing him during a meeting.

Cooper denied the allegations.

Chassion filed an official complaint with three Lafayette Police Department officers who responded to the central office.

The Advertiser reports (http://bit.ly/1c6CvJe ) the board went into a small conference room adjacent to the main board room for an executive session to discuss a letter from Tikia Consulting demanding that the district pay $200,000 for services provided last year during the search for a health claims administrator.

At one point, shouting could be heard from the conference room, but it was unclear who was speaking or what was being said.

The session ended around 7:45 p.m. All board members except Chassion returned to the meeting room and decided to discuss the demand letter further at a public meeting next week. Chassion returned near the end of the meeting and appeared upset. Chassion then told members of the media that the police were on their way.

Officers arrived shortly before 8 p.m. Outside the board room, Chassion told them that he repeatedly asked Mona Bernard, the district’s insurance director, for a copy of an email about the consultant. Chassion told police that Bernard was hesitant to get the email. According to Chassion, Cooper was sitting behind him and told Bernard that she could get the email Thursday.

Chassion told police that Cooper “yelled in his ear,” grabbed his arm and spun him around in his chair, saying that Bernard was his employee.

Chassion refused to comment about the allegations beyond what he told police.

Cooper said he was “pretty embarrassed” about the situation.

He said he was surprised police were called.

___

Information from: The Advertiser, http://www.theadvertiser.com

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