Quorum should be easier for Lycée committee following member’s resignation

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A member of the committee charged with finding Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans’ next interim CEO resigned Thursday, changing the composition of the committee from six to five people.

The change makes it easier for the committee to make a quorum as it attempts to meet an aggressive deadline of recommending a hire to the full board by June 30.

Carol Asher emailed her resignation to board member Erin Greenwald Thursday about two and a half hours before the committee planned to meet a third time this week for the purposes of an interview.

“I will be out of town for a number of days and realize your time crunch in hiring an interim CEO,” Asher wrote in the email.

Asher’s decision came a day after the committee met twice in 24 hours without a quorum present. Despite the lack of quorum, members voted each time to go into executive session to interview three job candidates.

During Thursday’s meeting, the committee had four people present, a required quorum. Members met in executive session for 90 minutes interviewing Keith Bartlett, former principal of John Dibert School.

Following the executive session, Greenwald reported that the committee had received additional applications for the interim CEO position. She said that she would be sharing those applications with committee members and the media. The committee would likely hold a meeting over the weekend to discuss the applicants.

Greenwald said that committee members had to check their schedules, but that she would announce the meeting ahead of time “according to law.”

During the executive session, however, parents and a Lycée staff member talked about a recent story by The Lens explaining how the school racked up $8,440 in legal fees over the course of one month for lawyers to respond to public records requests.

“If it gets to be much more than $8,500 a month, then that concerns me,” said Darren Beltz, a stay-at-home dad and Lycée parent. “On the other hand, ever since the attorney has come in the board has run much smoother with policies and procedures.”

The board may no longer need those attorneys to be present at meetings, due to the fact that there are now a few attorneys on the board, said Julianne Ruocco, the school’s director of finance and operations.

However, she said that issues with open meetings law could be avoided if lawyers always attended.

“That’s why its good to have attorneys present,” she said. “It’s good to know all the laws.”

Besides Greenwald, Tim Gray, Alysson Mills and Kelly McClure attended the meeting.

Charter schools reporter Marta Jewson contributed to this report.

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