|"I'll be asking tonight if they've been in contact with other board members, because I have a sneaking suspicion they have been." — Shelton Cobb|
In early June, members of the Lafayette Parish School Board were supposed to be contacted by the special attorney hired to investigate Superintendent Pat Cooper. Four board members, however, tell The IND they didn't even hear from the Baton Rouge attorney until this week.
In an email sent Saturday, May 31, board President Hunter Beasley advised board members that they would be contacted the following week by attorney Dennis Blunt to “discuss any concerns you have about the superintendent.”
Board member Mark Allen Babineaux even offered his Downtown law office as a place to meet with Blunt.
Four board members, Kermit Bouillion, Shelton Cobb and Mark Cockerham and Tommy Angelle, tell The IND they never heard from Blunt. Of those four, Angelle was the only board member to vote for an investigation of Cooper. The remaining five members of the board did not respond to our question before deadline.
Perplexed by the lack of communication, late last week Cobb requested the addition of an agenda item for Wednesday’s regular meeting to get an update on the investigation.
On Tuesday, Cobb says he conspicuously received an email from Blunt saying he would be in town on Wednesday and wanted to talk. The email was sent to all board members.
“I found it very peculiar that as soon as the item appears on the agenda we get an email from them saying they’re in town,” Cobb tells The IND.
Cobb is suspicious, and rightly so, considering Beasley’s May 31 email notifying board members that Blunt would be contacting them the week of June 2-6.
So if he hasn't contacted the school board members, just where is Blunt getting his marching orders? And if he has contacted the other board members who did not respond to our question, is he playing favorites?
Blunt did not respond to The IND's email about whether he had met with any school board members.
“I’ll be asking tonight if they’ve been in contact with other board members, because I have a sneaking suspicion they have been,” says Cobb.
According to Cooper, his office has yet to be contacted by Blunt, though he expects the attorney to attend tonight’s meeting.
Click here for more on the investigation.