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East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member Connie Bernard at a board meeting on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, at the school board offices in Baton Rouge, La.

Connie Bernard, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member who denied accusations of online shopping during a recent board meeting when the renaming of Lee High School was discussed, spent many minutes that night on the website of a clothing store, according to her browser history.

Pursuant to a public records request, WAFB-TV received the browser history from a School Board-issued laptop that Bernard used during that June 18 meeting — she was also using her personal laptop. The Advocate subsequently obtained some of the same information from the school system.

The online consignment and thrift store website named thredUP shows up several times during Bernard’s browser history on her public laptop. That's consistent with pictures from that night apparently showing Bernard shopping for dresses. Bernard later denied that she was shopping — it was a pop-up ad that she neglected to close; several witnesses disputed her contention.

This new information calls Bernard's excuse further into doubt.

To help make sense of the browser history, the school system’s IT Department cross-tabulated that record with what was happening during that meeting, which lasted almost eight hours.

Bernard first goes to the site a little before 8:30 p.m for a period of time. She’s back on the site at 9:10 p.m., just before the Lee High renaming starts. The thredUP url continues to show up in her browser for 35 more minutes, during a period when several board members are discussing the issue, but before public comment begins.

At one point, the history shows Bernard adding an item to her shopping cart. Besides that action, it's unclear from the browser history how active she is on the site.

Four of her fellow school board members and others in the Baton Rouge community have called for her resignation since that board meeting, and a recall petition was filed last week, seeking to remove her from her position. Bernard has said she plans to serve our third term on the board, which ends Dec. 31, 2022.


Contact Katelyn Umholtz at kumholtz@theadvocate.com.