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Lafayette School Board Won’t Pay Consultant Threatening To Sue

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The Lafayette Parish School Board won’t pay a Metairie consultant who’s demanding $200,00 for a contract the board never approved. Lafayette business attorney Gary McGoffin told the board at a special meeting Feb. 13 that Rina Tikia doesn’t deserve payment.

“I have reviewed the documents,” McGoffin said. “There is no basis for a claim here. To pay this woman any money would be a mistake. It would be an egregious mistake, and it would set a bad precedent.”

Tikia recommended a new health care administrator to the board last year and threatened to sue, in a Feb. 3 demand letter, if payment isn’t made within 15 days.

Board member Greg Awbrey, District 6, moved quickly after the 6 p.m. meeting began to take no action on the letter until suit is filed.

Former board member Rickey Hardy, also a former state representative, tried to question the board on allegations that Tikia offered board members Mark Cockerham and Shelton Cobb — Districts 7 and 3 — New Orleans Saints tickets.

"To pay this woman any money would be a mistake. It would be an egregious mistake, and it would set a bad precedent."

Board president Hunter Beasley, District 8, made clear the board was sticking to the matter of Tikia’s demand letter — the only item on the board’s special meeting agenda.

“We are not getting into allegations that are being put out in the media,” Beasley said. “This is not the purpose of the meeting, and what you’re talking about is something totally different.”

The board voted 8-0 to take no action on Tikia’s demand letter. Board member Tehmi Chassion, District 4, was absent. According to The Advocate, Chassion showed up after the 15-minute meeting ended.

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