Lafayette Newspaper Files Suit Against School Board For Access To Investigative Report Against Cooper
The Daily Advertiser is suing the Lafayette Parish School Board over its refusal to hand over the preliminary investigation report compiled by a special attorney looking into allegations against school system Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper.
School board President Hunter Beasley and special attorney Dennis Blunt have refused to hand over that document, as well as any contracts between Blunt and the board and any bill submitted to the board by Blunt, the newspaper reported.
Blunt has repeatedly said that because the investigation is a personnel matter, he will not release those documents.
The Daily Advertiser's executive director, Cindy McMurry-Ross, released the following statement:
I've had people ask why we shouldn't just wait for the full contents of the report to be revealed at Cooper's hearing. My response has been that the documents belong to the citizens of Lafayette and that a dangerous precedent is set when a lawyer or the school board president can unilaterally decide to keep such documents secret.I'd prefer not to turn to the courts. I'd prefer that the records be released willingly, but it appeared that neither Dr. Beasley nor Mr. Blunt were going to do that.
Blunt was hired back in May to look into allegations into Cooper. At a presentation to the school board in late August, Blunt concluded Cooper may have violated state law or board policy on a range of issues. A majority of board members at a separate meeting voted to accept charges against Cooper, and an Oct. 14 date has been set for a disciplinary hearing.