Ville Platte- The Evangeline Parish School Board, Wednesday, approved a request by Board Member Arthur Savoy to be reimbursed for $4630 in legal expenses. The vote was 8-3 with board members Peggy Forman, Nancy Hamlin and Georgianna Wilson voting no.
Savoy was found to be in contempt of court by U.S. District Court Judge Tucker Melancon some three years ago. Judge Melancon, who was overseeing the school district’s desegregation case, felt Savoy was interfering with the appointment of a bookkeeper by speaking with members of a committee interviewing applicants.
Savoy spent three days in jail and has paid $11,000 in fines and legal expenses. Since then, the state ethics board has cleared Savoy of any wrong doing and informed the school board that they could reimburse his legal expenses if they chose too.
Board Member Georgianna Wilson said “ I can’t see spending money on reimbursing a board member when we need the money on so many other things right now.”
Board Vice President Jerry Thompson remarked “ Why should he have to pay legal fees after being found innocent by the Board of Ethics? It is not fair for him to shoulder the costs.”
In other business, the school board adopted a resolution to re- finance $2.2 million dollars in school improvement refunding bonds. The bonds are being used for the Ville Platte High School renovation project. Business Manager Amy Lafleur said the refinancing will mean a net savings of $139,097 to the school board.
Also, LaFleur reported that the school board will be paying more of the employer’s share of the retirement contributions. She announced that the school district will pay an additional $784,613 in retirement contributions next year.
Superintendent Toni Hamlin announced that Career Day for high school juniors and seniors was successful. The annual event took place Tuesday at the Mamou Recreational Center. Students from high schools throughout the parish attended the career day. There were 28 booths at the school board sponsored event including military branches, colleges , technical schools and financial advisors.
In other action, Demographer Mike Heffner reviewed a new revised reapportionment plan with the 13 board members. He is scheduled to meet individually with the three minority members before the next meeting to review their individual districts.