Each year the Louisiana State Bar Association selects an attorney and judge in each region of the state to receive its prestigious Crystal Gavel Award, which recognizes community service and volunteer work. This year the honor was bestowed on Lafayette attorney Glenn Armentor — in large part for his decades of work helping at-risk youths — in a ceremony Friday. One of 10 children, Armentor grew up poor and paid his way through law school by working offshore. He credits many adult mentors for helping him stay on the right path so that he could earn his law degree. In 2009 he introduced the Glenn Armentor $10,000 “Pay it Forward” Scholarship Program of Excellence, which awards hardworking underprivileged youths with $10,000 scholarships to UL Lafayette. Since that time, seven worthy students have received one of the scholarships, with a goal of increasing the offering to six or eight scholarships per year.
Only in Louisiana will you find prisoners convicted of nonviolent crimes wasting away in jail cells for upwards of 10 years with almost nonexistent rehabilitation services, while murderers, rapists and other prison lifers receive job skills training and even the chance for an undergraduate degree. More than half of the state’s prison population is housed in local prisons, as state-run prisons are reserved for “the worst of the worst,” according to The Times-Picayune’s must-read Sunday and Monday coverage on the state of Louisiana’s prison system. Whether those local prisons are owned by local law enforcement agencies or north Louisiana businessmen who have private prisons to thank for their vast wealth, 11,000 of the 15,000 prisoners unleashed from local prisons in Louisiana every year have had no form of educational or transitional training. Roughly 50 percent of them will be back within five years.
Former N.P. Moss Middle School Principal Ken Douet is seeking more than $500,000 from the school system for what he claims is school board favoritism that prevented him from taking over as principal of the Early College Academy following Moss’s closure, but the erstwhile school administrator’s monetary demands have more than doubled since October of last year when Douet calculated that he was owed $195,422, according to a letter sent by Douet’s attorney to the school board and obtained by The Ind. Douet was principal of N.P. Moss when the north Lafayette middle school closed in 2011 due to consistently poor performance scores. A majority on the school board twice blocked Douet’s appointment last summer as principal of the Early College Academy, a promotion being pushed by former Superintendent Burnell Lemoine. Board members say they had no idea at the time of the votes that Douet and Lemoine were close friends. The board’s actions, according to board member Mark Cockerham, were to “stop rewarding principals of failing schools.”
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