State Rep. Rickey Hardy, D-Lafayette, a former member of the Lafayette Parish School Board, is coming out swinging against the school system’s central office following revelations that a suspended bus driver is back at work, albeit as a bus attendant.
Kenny Mire, 51, was suspended with pay by the board in 2009 after being charged with drunk driving. The alleged infraction occurred in Mire’s personal vehicle, although he was back behind the wheel of a school bus running his route hours after bonding out of jail.
The school board was set to reinstate Mire last December, believing the charge against him had been dropped. However, upon learning that the DWI charge stood, the board decided to leave him on paid administrative leave. A tenured bus driver, Mire has earned his more than $17,000 annual salary since being suspended. Board members learned Tuesday that school system officials allowed Mire to return to work as an attendant.
In a letter to the editor emailed to The Ind, Hardy characterizes the decision to put Mire back to work as a circumvention of the board’s authority:
As a four time elected former member of the Lafayette Parish School Board, I am shocked and appalled at the decisions and actions of attorney Dawn Morris, Superintendent Burnell Lemoine and Assistant Superintendent Lawrence Lilly. The decisions and actions I am referring to are in regard to bus driver Kenny Mire’s return to work. These three central office administrators did an end run around the board’s suspension of Mire by returning him to work as a school bus attendant while being paid his full salary as a driver. With that in mind, it would seem as though the elected members of the Lafayette Parish School Board have no authority to hire, suspend and/or fire based upon the actions of Morris, Lemoine and Lilly.
So much for the new direction of the LPSS touted by board member Greg Awbrey.
In fact, board members were unaware of Mire’s return to work. The superintendent’s authority comes from the elected members of the school board. Based on what has taken place regarding Mire, it seems as if said authority comes from Morris. District Attorney Mike Harson has provided a paid assistant prosecutor, Jimmy Simon, from his office to render legal decisions for the board. Morris is another LPSS attorney, with no affiliation to the DA’s office, who was hired by the current administration at more expense to the taxpayers. By who’s authority do her recommendations take precedence over board attorney Simon?
Bottom line: The Lafayette Parish School Board suspended Kenny Mire. The Lafayette Parish School Board is the body that decides when, if, how, where and/or why Mire is to return to work, not Morris, Lemoine, and Lilly. Kenny Mire is now working illegally. Period.
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JUL 27 The news gets worse in the case of the 11th hour bill that added a bunch of money to the retirement income of State Police Commander Mike Edmonson. Blogger CB Forgotston says here that the annual increase was not $30K, it was more like $55K. Also, it was Jindal buddy Neil Riser who tacked the action onto another bill - something he didn't feel compelled to tell us until now. But here's the best part - Edmonson turned down the money on Friday.
JUL 28 Finally, someone has pointed out that the far-right people who scream at immigrant children are not acting as Jesus would. Blogger Robert Mann runs a comparison of the actions of these alleged "Christians" against what the Bible says about their Savior -- and they come up lacking. Big time.
JUL 27 Here's the first of four pieces from Minnesota Public Radio about the horrible legacy of Gilbert Gauthe, the pedophile who also was a priest and used his position to obtain victims. The story gets into the most shameful aspect of that time - the protection Gauthe received from the leaders of the church. This four-piece story promises to be more comprehensive than anything we've seen, because it is looking back from so far. Some of the information here has only been released recently.
JUL 28 This story in the Picayune is a hopeful, happy one for a change. It's about a young woman who faced family problems that led to her dropping out of school. But now, just a few years later, she's completed two programs aimed at troubled kids and has landed a job in the kitchen of a John Besh restaurant.
JUL 27 Columnist James Gill has something for the Baton Rouge Metro Council -- and they could probably use it. He's giving them a piece of his mind in this post, taking them to task for being too (dumb, homophobic, gutless?) hesitant to pass the so-called tolerance ordinance, which basically says you can't discriminate against gay people in that fair city.
JUL 27 When you're telling people they have lost their jobs, you have to be careful about how you do it. When more layoffs were announced last week to the employees of the Office of Group Benefits, apparently that wasn't handled well, blogger Tom Aswell argues in this post. He's also got some info on who gets to stay - and how much they make. (Spoiler alert: It's a lot.)
JUL 28 After three years of revisions, the proposed new zoning ordinance for the city of New Orleans is ready for public review, this post on NOLA Defender reports. The plan is available starting today on the city's website and in several locations in the city, NoDef reports.
JUL 27 Here's an interesting infographic from LaPolitics on getting negative in political campaigning. There are several people who might want to take note - but chances are, they can't help themselves.
JUL 25 If you're not aware, there's a conflict among pro-choicers and pro-lifers going down in New Orleans. Anti-abortionists are protesting in the city this week, but those who support access to abortion have also been active in the city as a result. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow takes a look at what's going on in this clip, posted on Gambit.
JUL 25 Education Superintendent John White probably shouldn't sign a long lease on anything in Louisiana, Blogger Lamar Parmentel writes, because our reformer in chief is now in a situation "from which no amount of his own bs jargon or political hatchet work can extricate him." Lamar thinks that White is going to have to quit, and probably sooner rather than later.
JUL 25 This post on the Wall Street Journal examines the case of a Metairie physician who is making millions by filing whistle-blower lawsuits. His suits accuse corporations of defrauding federal agencies like Medicare, and when he wins he gets whistle-blower rewards - in the tens of millions of dollars. (You can view the story using your Facebook account, but if you don't want to do that, here's an abbreviated version in the Advocate.)
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