May 6, 2014 4:29 PM by Dave Fields

Board considering new resolution to hire special counsel to investigate Cooper

On Tuesday, the Lafayette Parish School Board (LPSB) provided 24-hours notice to add a resolution to Wednesday's agenda that would hire special counsel to investigate Superintendent Pat Cooper.

The resolution says that the board "desires that a thorough investigation of any complaints regarding the job performance of Superintendent Pat Cooper be conducted in order to determine if there is any validity or evidence in support of such allegations."

The meeting is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday evening.

If the resolution is adopted, the board would agree to retain attorney Sheldon Dennis Blunt from the law firm Phelps Dunbar out of Baton Rouge. The resolution stipulates that Blunt be compensated at the maximum rate of $175 per hour, a rate that meets the approval of the state Office of the Attorney General. The document points to Blunt's previous experience in "conducting investigations of school superintendents."

This is the second such resolution by LPSB to hire special counsel to investigate the superintendent. The Board's July 2013 resolution resulted in the hiring of a Gretna law firm.

The current resolution to be considered at tomorrow's meeting states that the board wants, "in the interest of fairness and to avoid potential conflict of interest," to hire an expert investigator who is "independent" of school system operations.




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