Cooper cleared of battery accusations

A complaint of battery filed by Lafayette Parish School Board member Dr. Tehmi Chassion in early February of this year, has been refused by the City Prosecutor. 

“I certainly knew that I did not commit a battery on anyone, that’s just not my style”, says Lafayette Parish School’s Superintendent, Dr. Pat Cooper after City Prosecutor, Gary Haynes refused to accept criminal charges filed against him. 

The incident occurred on the evening of February 5th during executive session, a private meeting between board members and the superintendent. 

Words were exchanged by Chassion and Risk Manager Mona Bernard over a document before Cooper intervened. Chassion accused Cooper of grabbing him by the arm, spinning him in his chair, yelling and spitting in his face. After review of witnesses reports, the city prosecutor says “it will not reasonably result in conviction.”

Dr. Cooper says the big thing here is it’s just unfortunate that the public had that put into their thought process, that we acted that way, we don’t act that way. A report released by the prosecutors office states the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the violator used force or violence, and the conflicting statements preclude such a finding. 

“I’m glad this has finally cleared the air because I think the public has a right to know that they have a superintendent that doesn’t participate in brawls with school board members” said Cooper. 

 Now that charges are not being filed the superintendent hopes that he and the board can focus on the children and school. 

  We reached out to Dr. Chassion, he chose not to comment on non school related issues. 

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