Cedric Floyd has not yet persuaded his colleagues on the Jefferson Parish School Board to suspend Superintendent Isaac Joseph, but he’s got a replacement in mind in case he succeeds.
Floyd last month presented a series of allegations against Joseph, and the board hired attorney John Litchfield to investigate them. The allegations have not been made public, but several board members have referred to them as "very technical."
Floyd said he intends to ask the board Tuesday to suspend Joseph while Litchfield's inquiry progresses. If it agrees, he also plans to ask the board to appoint former board member Etta Licciardi as the system's interim head.
Licciardi said she was ready if called.
Jefferson Parish School Board member Cedric Floyd, who has already called for the board to c…
"I would be honored to be appointed to this temporary position," she said. "I know the system well. I served it for over 40 years."
Licciardi was on the board from 2004 until 2014, when she opted not to run again after her district was combined with that of member Ray St. Pierre.
But if the initial reactions of several board members are a harbinger of the board's inclinations, Licciardi won't get that call.
"It's putting the cart before the horse," said board member Mark Morgan. The board should "take no action pending (the results of) the inquiry by Mr. Litchfield," he said.
Other board members agreed that suspending Joseph would be premature.
"I don't see it going anywhere Tuesday," said Sandy Denapolis-Bosarge. The board should wait for Litchfield's conclusions before making any decision, she said.
Joseph refused to comment on the specifics of the charges against him but called Floyd's actions "a major distraction to the important work that we do."
"I am looking forward to this investigation so we can put this behind us," he said.
Floyd was once an ally of Joseph, and Joseph said it was his own refusal to bend to Floyd's will that was prompting Floyd's efforts against him.
"What has changed is that he thought I would capitulate to everything he wanted to do," he said. "He likes to get involved in personnel matters beyond the scope of his role as a board member."
Floyd has been in Joseph's position. He was the subject of a 2015 investigation prompted by former board secretary Sharon Hunter. Hunter accused Floyd of repeatedly harassing and berating her, and attorney Harold Koretzky was hired to investigate those claims in late 2015.
The board, however, voted against listening to Koretzky's findings, even in closed session. It took no action against Floyd.
Hunter's claims formed the basis of a federal lawsuit she filed against the school system. That suit is still pending in federal court.