Things could get sticky for four excessively absent Lafayette Parish School Board members as a complaint was filed last week by former state Rep. Rickey Hardy, who is calling on the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office to uphold school system policy and state law.
In a letter submitted Thursday to District Attorney Mike Harson, Hardy calls out board members Tommy Angelle, Greg Awbrey, Tehmi Chassion and Rae Trahan.
According to LPSS attendance records for 2012, 21 absences were logged for Angelle, 19 for Trahan, 15 for Awbrey and 14 for Chassion. State law does allow up to five absences a year, but thereafter, each missed meeting carries with it a $100 fine. That means a potential fine of $1,600 for Angelle, $1,400 for Trahan, $1,000 for Awbrey and $900 for Chassion.
Hardy, in his letter to Harson, writes:
[A]fter 5 absences, documentation must be filed with the sitting school board president, Shelton Cobb, stating the reason(s) for each absence. It is my understanding that no such documentation has been filed with anyone, let alone the board president. After the first five initial excused absences, each board member is to be fined $100 per unexcused/undocumented absence.
I respectfully request that your office move forward, after investigation and clarification, with criminal charges against the above named Lafayette Parish School Board members for malfeasance in office. They are being paid for not performing their duties as taxpayer paid elected officials.
The IND spoke Tuesday afternoon with board president Shelton Cobb, who confirmed he has not received any documentation from Angelle, Awbrey, Chassion or Trahan explaining their excessive absences. The matter has been turned over to board attorney James Simon, says Cobb.
The IND reached out Tuesday afternoon to Harson, but as of Wednesday morning, he had not responded.