Only thing School Board agrees on is hiring special counsel to investigate Puyau


ABBEVILLE, La. (KLFY) – The Vermilion Parish School Board held a special meeting Monday night, in regards to Superintendent Jerome Puyau.

Puyau is still currently on administrative leave, and an investigation is underway into allegations made against him by former employees.

But, Puyau did confirm to News 10 that just a few days ago, a Hearing Officer did clear him of all the allegations made against him. But now the board wants to hire a special counsel to continue to investigate. Puyau told News 10 that School Board President Stacy Landry told him not to come ot the board meeting on Monday and to still not to return to work yet.

The first agenda item was to ‘Eliminate budget line item of “Legal Counsel/Risk Manager.” 
The motion FAILED.

“I am tired of having to call for advice and pay for advice, correct advise. I am being put in a difficult situation as a board member,” said Laura LeBeouf, the Board’s Vice President said.

The next agenda item was to ‘Adopt resolution in regards to board’s investigative process and places Paul Hebert as Interim Superintendent.’

This would allow Hebert to have more power in the superintendent’s role and to be able to sign off on documents to move the school system forward while Puyau is away.
Some board members also wanted Puyau to remain in his house during school hours, and to not have any contact with school system employees, and go on no school facilities.
That motion FAILED.

“I just think that we wouldn’t be through all of this, had we taken our time, gotten some sound legal advice, so we wouldn’t be in this mess,” said School Board member Chris Hebert.

“He should be able to roam freely and wherever he chooses, just not have activity communication, with anyone in the (school) system until further notice,” said School Board member Sara Duplechain.

The next agenda item was to ‘Move to hire Special counsel to assist the board with the investigations’ in regards to the complaints made against Mr. Puyau.
Attorney Dannie Garrett was the school board’s choice to help them throughout the investigation.
That motion PASSED.

The final agenda item was similar to the last, ‘Move to hire counsel to investigate the complaints and proceed with the Board’s investigation.’
That motion PASSED.

But more disagreements between the 8 member school board, were still what the story was on Monday night.

“I’m not an officer of the board, but I can solve problems,” said School Board member Chris Gautreaux, 

“I feel like that’s all we do, that’s only shape we know is a circle, because that’s only, that’s all we can do, and it’s enough,” said Duplechain.

At the end of the school board meeting someone from the public came up and asked the board that once all the investigations are done, to please come together and finally put the children of Vermilion Parish first. Almost everyone in attendance clapped.

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