The attorney representing St. Martin Parish School Superintendent Lottie Beebe says an agreement has been reached to pay Beebe on administrative leave through June of 2019.
According to Lane Roy, a Lafayette attorney representing Beebe, the agreement came Thursday evening after a day of negotiations.
“This came out of the blue last week when the board attempted to terminate her contract,” Roy said Friday morning. “It was not on the agenda. The board hired an interim superintendent, which was also not on the agenda. There was no notice to anyone and no budget item for it.”
Allen Blanchard Jr., who previously served as a director of Human Resources, Operations and Transportation for the St. Martin Parish School District, will serve as the interim superintendent. His career experience also includes serving as assistant principal and principal at Cecilia Junior High School and assistant principal at Carencro Middle School. Earlier this year, he was one of six finalists for the superintendent’s job in Iberia Parish.
Roy said Beebe will be paid all salary and benefits through June 30, 2019, although she will remain on paid administrative. He also called the agreement wasteful and a misuse of tax dollars.
“When we looked at the budget, we didn’t see them awash in cash,” Roy said. “They will end up paying $150,000 more money than they would have had they gone to Dr. Beebe and said, ‘Just stay on till January, but we want to go in a different direction.’ Instead, they tried to get their way through political machinations.”
Beebe’s original contract ended in June. She agreed to work on a month-to-month basis, but was blindsided when the board tried to fire her during a meeting on Sept. 4. As part of the agreement, the St. Martin Parish School Board released a statement today delineating the details of the deal and renouncing claims that Beebe had performed poorly, Roy said.
“The statement will say that this (the claim of Beebe’s poor performance as superintendent) was not true,” Roy said. “The board violated open meeting law, violated a lot of other things. They used public funds for their own purposes. That is wrong.
“Dr. Beebe is completely exonerated,” Roy continued. “We would have brought it up at the time except for two things: no one knew it was coming up and no one was allowed to comment.”