Contact Us

Lafayette Parish School Board Reprimands Superintendent Pat Cooper In 6 to 3 Vote

Pat Cooper
Pat Cooper, Lafayette Parish School System

LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL) — School board members voted six to three to place a letter of reprimand in school system superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper’s file for his actions in relation to the hiring of special assistant Thad Welch, whom board members say doesn’t meet the minimum requirements for his job.

In a tense executive session that featured a heated back-and-forth between district 6 board member Greg Awbrey and district 7 board member Mark Cockerham, Awbrey accused Cooper of violating school board policy and state law when he hired Welch.

Welch does not have a high school diploma.

Referring to a copy of the Lafayette Parish School Board CGC, attorney Gary McGoffin insisted there was no violation of board policy or state law, pointing out that educational degrees need only make up eight percent of an applicant’s qualifications.

McGoffin said a letter of reprimand read aloud by Awbrey made no mention of a specific violation of policy or law. McGoffin hinted that without making any such specific reference, accusing Cooper of breaking such was tantamount to defamation.

An uncomfortable conversation took place when Tehmi Chaisson interpreted a comment by Cooper as a veiled threat, listen below for the audio for the tone of the conversation:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Here’s a transcript of the conversation:

Dr. Cooper
‘Now, you may feel good about it tonight, it’ll catch up with you. I’ll try to help you, I’ll try to make sure that  we work together’

Tehmi Chaisson
‘Dr. Cooper, was that a threat sir?’

Dr. Cooper
‘No, did you hear what I said? I just said whatever goes around comes around.’

Tehmi Chaisson
‘That’s not what you said, sir…that’s not what you said’

Chaisson promised to bring legal action against Dr. Cooper if in fact the comments could be considered a threat.

In a public comments section early on in the more than six hour meeting and again before the vote for reprimand, a number of Lafayette business leaders, teachers, and parents spoke up in support of Cooper and his Turnaround Plan.

Those comments did little to sway the opinions of board members, though, as the final vote reflected.

 

More from KPEL 96.5

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://kpel965.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on KPEL 96.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Register on KPEL 96.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!