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Wednesday, December 4, 2019



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School superintendent will not return from medical leave

School superintendent will not return from medical leave

After four months on medical leave, the Lafourche Parish School Board last week agreed to buy the schools superintendent out of his contract for $220,000.

His contract will officially end on Dec. 31.

Under his initial contract, Superintendent Louis Voiron was being paid a salary of $150,000 per year.

The settlement also agrees to restore all of the sick leave used by Voiron, restore any sick leave used since July to his employee account and allow him to remain on the school district’s health insurance plan through his original term to December 2020. He will continue to pay his health insurance premium.

Under the state retirement system, retired employees can receive a payout for up to 25 unused sick days, said Lafon Ortiz, Lafourche schools’ business manager. She didn’t know how many Voiron had accumulated so far.

The board learned that the superintendent didn’t intend to return from his medical leave in October after discussions between the parties’ attorneys. His medical condition still hasn’t been disclosed to the board or the public.

“The board had been hopeful that he would return, but Dr. Voiron has advised us that due to health matters and after discussions with his family, it did not appear that he would be returning,” board President Brooke Huddleston said in a letter.

The board unanimously approved the terms of the settlement on Tuesday during a special meeting after meeting in private.

According to Huddleston’s letter, the board estimates that the settlement will cost the district about $48,000 less than if he had remained on sick leave. The early termination doesn’t include payments to the retirement system or additional contributions to Voiron’s health insurance that were part of his original contract.

“Dr. Voiron agrees that his payment and other consideration contained in the agreement satisfies his rights under his contract with the board and he releases the board from any future liability,” wrote Huddleston.

During last week’s meeting, board members Marian Fertitta, Clyde Duplantis and Al Archer said they were saddened that Voiron won’t return. Fertitta said the board believed this was the best way to allow the district to move forward.

Friday, board member Ray Bernard said the board expected Voiron to eventually return until a few weeks ago.

“We wanted to see him come back to his position,” he said.

The School Board will pay Voiron $220,000 in full on Jan. 3, according to the settlement.

The board unanimously voted to start advertising for the position of superintendent. In the interim, Jarod Martin, Lafourche director of secondary and middle school education, will continue in his role as acting superintendent.

 

-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Halle Parker can be reached at hparker@houmatoday.com or 857-2204. Follow her on Twitter, @_thehalparker.