Judge upholds former LPSS Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper’s termination

Pat Cooper raises his hand to speak at Lafayette Parish School Board budget hearing in 2014. Disputes between Cooper and the board over the budget led to litigation and months of strife. (Photo Credit: Paul Kieu, The Daily Advertiser)

On Tuesday, Judge Patrick Michot ruled that the former Lafayette Parish School Board was correct in their termination of Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper.The judge’s ruling is based on the board’s charge Dr. Cooper deviated from the board approved salary schedule regarding five school system principals.

However, the Judge ruled against the board’s charge that Dr. Cooper was in violation when he failed to terminate Maintenance Supervisor Thad Welch. Michot noted Cooper by state law as superintendent has the right to hire and terminate school system employees.

In court, former Board President Shelton Cobb and Cajundome Director Greg Davis were there as a supporters of Cooper.  Before the termination ruling, Davis talked about his stance.  “I’ve been supportive of Dr. Cooper because I thought he was given an unfair hearing by the school board and I am liking what I’m hearing thus far at this appeal,” explains Davis.

After the final ruling, Dr. Cooper used the words mission accomplished to describe what he calls the message students, superintendents and for his integrity regarding the use of public funds. “For me at this time I think we need to celebrate what we’ve accomplished.  I think we could change the landscape of public education.  We finally have some jurisprudence about  Act 1 and that’s what we wanted to accomplish.  It was never been about me.  It was about Act 1,” says Cooper.

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