Potential executive sessions are scheduled Wednesday during a special meeting of the Lafayette Parish School Board to start the administrative hearing processes for two bus drivers, one being Kenny Mire, who has been on paid leave since his OWI arrest in 2009.
|Kenny Mire's mug shots|
Though the meeting agenda only lists the initials of the two bus drivers, The IND confirmed with School Board President Shelton Cobb that “KM” was in fact Kenny Mire. Cobb was unsure of the identity of the other bus driver, listed on the agenda as “DG.”
Cobb says Wednesday’s special meeting is a preliminary step in the administrative process, and pending board approval, will be followed by a tenure hearing to determine the future of Mire and his colleague as school system bus drivers.
The agenda reads:
Consider resolution approving tenure charges against bus [drivers “DG” and “KM”], fixing date for tenure hearing and directing the superintendent to provide the driver such notice and documentation as required by law.
“This is to inform those bus drivers, and then the board will adopt a resolution to hold a formal hearing,” says Cobb, who spoke with The IND by phone this morning.
Mire’s administrative hearing was prompted by the one year suspension of his CDL privileges after he entered a “no contest” plea recently in 15th Judicial District Court for the OWI arrest. The arrest came on the night of Sept. 9, 2009, by Louisiana State Police, which reported Mire had admitted to drinking and “performed poorly” on the field sobriety test. The following morning, at about 3 a.m., Mire bonded out of jail, and eventually got behind the wheel of his bus and drove students to Acadiana High and J. Wallace James Elementary, despite registering a blood alcohol content of .174 — it’s illegal to drive in Louisiana with a BAC of .08 — only several hours earlier.
A tenured bus driver, Mire was placed on paid suspension following the 2009 arrest and has continued earning his $17,000 annual salary. Though the arrest wasn’t his first, it did reiterate issues first raised by former investigative reporter Jason Brown over the school system’s hiring policy for bus drivers, namely the lack of criminal background checks, and prompted a board pledge in 2009 to remedy the issue. The policy, however, remains the same, unchanged since 2000.
Click here for more on Mire's checkered past and the school system's hiring policy for bus drivers.