Lafayette Schools Supt. Pat Cooper Files Lawsuit Against Board Members
Lafayette Parish School System Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper has filed a lawsuit in state district court against three members of the Lafayette Parish School Board, whom his attorney says have proven a demonstrated bias against Cooper.
School board members Mark Babinineaux and Tehmi Chassion were the subject of an earlier federal lawsuit filed by Cajundome Director and public education activist Greg Davis. They are included included in the new suit, as well as board president Hunter Beasley.
Cooper wants the three men barred from voting in any termination hearings against them because of what he calls proven bias against him. A disciplinary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 14, but it's unclear if a state district judge will take up the matter before that date.
The school board in September voted to accept charges against Cooper over his handling of the district's finances, as well as his continual employment of a special assistant whose funding was eliminated from the budget but continues to be paid. Questions also surround Cooper's paying of some principals on a different salary schedule than what is outlined in school system policy.
The earlier Davis lawsuit was dismissed by federal judge Richard Haik because Davis did not have the proper standing to file the suit and because federal court was not the appropriate venue to hear the case.