- Associated Press - Thursday, June 5, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The Lafayette Parish School Board has voted to keep secret their complaints against Superintendent Pat Cooper, now under an attorney investigation.

The board voted last year to investigate Cooper. But the process was stalled until recently, when Baton Rouge attorney Dennis Blunt was hired. The resolution to hire Blunt did not specify the reasons for the investigation.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1uldO6k ) board members Kermit Bouillion, Shelton Cobb and Mark Cockerham appealed to their fellow board members to disclose to Cooper and the public those reasons, but a request to disclose the complaints in writing failed in a 3-5 vote Wednesday.

Board members Mark Allen Babineaux, Hunter Beasley, Tommy Angelle, Rae Trahan and Tehmi Chassion voted against the disclosure. Board member Greg Awbrey was absent.

At the board’s May 21 meeting, its attorney warned members not to disclose any allegations because it was a personnel matter.

In an attempt toward discussion, Cooper wrote a letter to board members, dated Wednesday, waiving his right to privacy related to the board’s charges against him.

“I welcome public scrutiny of any and all information that the LPSS School Board members have relative to charges against the Superintendent that can be proven,” Cooper wrote.

Cooper did not comment on the issue during the board meeting, but Bouillion read the letter aloud to enter Cooper’s comments into the public record.

Members did not discuss the issue before taking a vote.

Earlier this week, board president Hunter Beasley said Blunt planned to meet individual board members by Friday to discuss the investigation.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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