Jefferson Parish School Board President Cedric Floyd denied Thursday that he recently blew up at the board’s secretary or was ever verbally abusive to her.
School Board secretary Sharon Hunter went to the school district’s Human Resources Department last month and filed a grievance against Floyd, who has been accused on several occasions of having a volatile temper.
According to multiple sources with knowledge of the incident, Floyd berated Hunter one day in mid-August after asking her to keep a $24.5 million settlement check from BP in her desk so that he could arrange to have his photo taken with it.
Several people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because it was a personnel issue, said Hunter felt uncomfortable holding on to the check and instead gave it to the district’s chief financial officer, infuriating Floyd and causing him to berate her.
Floyd offered a starkly different version of events and said he has “always been respectful” to Hunter.
Floyd said he had asked Hunter to put “some documents related to the BP settlement” in his office in Gretna so he could review them the next morning. When he arrived the next day looking for the documents, they weren’t there, and he left, he said.
He said Hunter called him later that morning saying she had the documents for him, but Floyd told her he was walking on the track outside Zephyr Field in Metairie and was going to be too busy the rest of the day to return to the office.
Floyd said he was listening to loud music when he spoke to Hunter on the phone, which may have caused confusion.
“I’ve always tried to be courteous, straightforward and professional at all times,” Floyd said. “When mistakes happen … I address them. … I respect Ms. Hunter to the highest.”
The grievance Hunter filed against Floyd is not the only time he’s been accused of having a short temper.
Former School Board member Michael Delesdernier secured a restraining order against Floyd after having a screaming match with him last year.
Floyd also drew a misdemeanor citation for disturbing the peace in March 2014 after he was accused of breaking the windshield on his wife’s car, although he said Thursday that prosecutors never pursued a charge against him in that case.
The school district, meanwhile, plans to invite a third-party investigation into Hunter’s complaint.
School Board member Mark Morgan said the district planned to hire an outside attorney to look into it.