The Algiers Charter School Association tapped principal Rene Lewis-Carter to lead the six-school network as interim CEO, but the board would not discuss how she was selected or the circumstances of  the former CEO.

Rene Lewis-Carter
Rene Lewis-Carter

Board President John Edwards announced Lewis-Carter’s assignment at a Tuesday morning news conference in the network’s office. After the announcement, Edwards said the choice of the longtime Behrman Charter School principal was the “consensus of the board.”

But he wouldn’t say how the board reached that decision, declining to say whether the board held a vote to select Carter.

“We’re not here to talk about any personnel matters,” he said after the event that was called to announce a personnel change.

Generally, charter boards hire their top employee in meetings, which must be open to the public under the state’s Open Meetings Law. Public bodies are forbidden from meeting privately or by telephone, and the board members can’t take a poll of members one by one.

The Algiers board last met on Jan. 5, solely to discuss a lawsuit in executive session, according to the meeting agenda. The most recent board meeting minutes on the website are from an October meeting. The previous CEO, Adrian Morgan, responded to a question from The Lens on Thursday, with his signature line still identifying him in that role, and it came through the organization’s email system. He was still listed on the organization’s website as the CEO on Monday evening.

ACSA serves about 4,500 children at its six schools: Algiers Technology Academy, Eisenhower Academy, Behrman Charter School, McDonogh No. 32 Literacy Academy, Landry-Walker High School and William J. Fischer Accelerated Academy.

Morgan was not mentioned in the announcement. Asked if Morgan had stepped down or been let go, Edwards responded: “We’re not here today to talk about any personnel matters.”

This audio clip is a discussion between Lens reporter Marta Jewson and Algiers Charter School Association board President John Edwards.

The Lens then asked him to clarify Morgan’s last date of employment.

“We’re not here to talk about personnel matters. We’re here to talk about the future,” Edwards said.

The Lens also asked whether the board would be hiring a search firm to seek a permanent CEO.

“That personnel matter hasn’t been discussed, and that will be discussed in the near future,” Edwards said.

Morgan’s last contract with the network was a one-year agreement that ran from June 30, 2013 to June 30, 2014. For that he earned a $160,000 salary. Executive Director of External Relations Tammi Griffin-Major said since the contract ended, Morgan was an at-will employee.

Morgan did not return a phone call but the network released a joint statement with him on Wednesday. The statement said Morgan’s last day of employment was Monday and that he and the board “mutually agreed to part ways.”

This story was updated to include ACSA’s statement released Wednesday.

Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned...