The embattled relationship between the Vermilion Parish School Board and Superintendent of Schools Jerome Puyau opened yet another chapter following last night's meeting of that board.

In a vote of 4 to 3, the VPSB decided to place Superintendent Puyau on administrative leave. During that time the board plans to investigate the following accusations concerning Puyau.

  • Failing to put items on Board agendas as requested by Board members, in violation of Board policy and District Court orders
  • Failing to acknowledge and implement Board action on May 30, 2019, to eliminate the position of Risk Manager/Legal Counsel, effective that date
  • Failing to acknowledge and implement Board action on May 30, 2019, to name Hammonds, Sills, Adkins & Guice as Board General Counsel and to direct that all legal matters concerning school system be referred to that firm for handling, effective that date
  • Hiring administrative personnel who do not meet the qualifications for the position outlined in Board-approved job description
  • Authorizing the payment of private attorneys’ fees with Board funds without the knowledge or approval of the Board

This list of accusations was compiled and reported in a story by KATC Television.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Puyau says he plans on reporting for work this morning. His reasons?

We have a board that says I'm suspended, the actual agenda items do not indicate that I am suspended until after the investigation.

The embattled Superintendent is also suggesting that the Vermilion Parish School Board violated Louisiana open meetings laws by discussing his situation behind closed doors. However, a member of the VPSB said the closed-door meeting was not to discuss Puyau's investigation but rather to discuss details with their lawyer.

This is just the latest in a saga that stretches back over several years between Puyau and members of the board.


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