Board member withdraws motion to suspend Jefferson Parish schools superintendent

Tuesday, 10 October 2017, 08:07:51 PM. With the deadline nearing to make changes to the Jefferson Parish School Board's agenda for Tuesday's meeting, board member Cedric Floyd withdrew motions he had offered to suspend Superintendent Isaac

With the deadline nearing to make changes to the Jefferson Parish School Board's agenda for Tuesday's meeting, board member Cedric Floyd withdrew motions he had offered to suspend Superintendent Isaac Joseph and to put former board member Etta Licciardi in his place as interim leader of the school system.

Floyd sent an email to board President Melinda Doucet about 4:30 p.m. Monday, she said. Board members have until 24 hours before a meeting to make changes to the agenda. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Floyd asked to remove two items from the agenda. The first would have suspended Joseph while an outside attorney's inquiry into allegations made by Floyd proceeds. The second item was to name Licciardi as interim superintendent while Joseph was on leave.

Floyd could not be reached for comment on why he pulled back his proposals.

Through a spokeswoman, Joseph declined to comment.

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Some board members have expressed doubts about whether Floyd had enough votes to suspend Joseph, and at least one board member said Monday he was happy to see the measures withdrawn.

"I was against it, so it's OK with me," Larry Dale said. 

Floyd's move to oust Joseph, which has been underway for nearly two months, has always operated on the razor's edge of viability. Board members were at first confused when, at the August meeting, Floyd suggested without explanation that Joseph may have violated state law and board policy. 

Though he promised to detail his charges before the board's Sept. 12 meeting, Floyd did not hand out packets to other members until minutes before the meeting started. After a closed-door session, the board agreed to hire lawyer John Litchfield to look into the allegations.

The charges have never been made public, though some board members have described them as "very technical."

Last week, The New Orleans Advocate published a story detailing a report from a similar investigation in 2015 into never previously disclosed charges against Floyd.

That report, authored by attorney I. Harold Koretzky, evaluated the claims of Sharon Hunter, a former board secretary who alleged that Floyd had verbally harassed her while he was board president. Floyd was not suspended from the board during that investigation.

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Though Koretzky raised questions about Floyd's behavior, he concluded there was little the board could do, beyond requiring Floyd to take anger management classes and removing him as board president. He did suggest that the board strengthen some policies to prevent such incidents from happening again.

But Floyd convinced four of his colleagues on the board to vote against hearing the report, so board members were never made privy to its contents. It only became public because it was included recently in filings made as part of Hunter's federal lawsuit against the school system.

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Article Board member withdraws motion to suspend Jefferson Parish schools superintendent compiled by www.theadvocate.com