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Oct 25, 2013 4:17 PM by Tina Macias

Lafayette school board attorney nixes Cooper investigation

The Lafayette Parish School Board's attorney says there's no need for an investigation into Superintendent Pat Cooper.

This summer, the board approved a resolution to hire a special attorney to investigate Cooper. That resolution needed to be approved by the Louisiana Attorney General, but was sent back to board attorney Roger Hamilton because it was missing some information.

Then, this week Hamilton sent a letter to the AG's office saying he does "feel that there is a need for a special counsel" and he "not find sufficient facts that warrant an investigation." He will ask the board to reconsider the resolution.

The resolution was missing some things required by law, Cooper says, including funding for the attorney and specific charges. Board members have said they want an investigation in some of Cooper's hirings and decisions.

In response to Hamilton's letter, Cooper is also asking that the board only use Hamilton as their attorney, consider holding a workshop on governance and mediation and dismiss a reprimand from earlier this year.

Cooper was reprimanded in April over his hiring and continual employment of special assistant Thad Welch, who makes $76,000 annually and does not have a high school diploma, which was listed in his job description.

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