East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member Dadrius Lanus say's he's no longer an officer with a nonprofit group led by James Gilmore, who is part of a team of local consultants bidding on the contract to find a new superintendent for the state’s second largest school district.
Lanus said he stepped aside from Gilmore’s Institute for Human Development & Excellence “five or six months ago.” Gilmore, however, did not inform the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office of the change until Monday, days after The Advocate reported Lanus’ leadership role in the group.
On Monday, Gilmore filed a new annual report with the state agency that no longer listed Lanus as president and an officer in the 14-month-old nonprofit corporation. The agency that same day removed Lanus from the nonprofit’s online business listing.
The institute was formed in August 2018. Lanus described it as focused on job training and small business development. Its purpose, according to its articles of incorporation, is to “develop youths and adults into productive citizens by providing resources and services while also offering strategies to living self-sufficient.”
“Since the creation of the nonprofit I have not attended any meetings nor have I performed any formal duties which again was my reasoning for deciding to step down,” Lanus said.
Two firms, one from Baton Rouge and the other from Texas, are seeking to help the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board find someone to replace…
A separate organization led by Gilmore, the for-profit Bayard Management Group, is part of a team seeking the contract to lead the search to find a replacement for Superintendent Warren Drake, who plans to retire June 30. The team is led by SSA Consultants, a prominent consulting firm in Baton Rouge, and another firm, Franklin Associates.
“This nonprofit has nothing to do with my private management firm,” Gilmore said in email on Friday.
The other applicant seeking to manage the superintendent search in Baton Rouge is Austin, Texas-based JG Consultants, a firm which specializes in finding superintendents and top school executives.
Representatives from both groups are scheduled to give presentations to the School Board on Oct. 17. The board is planning to choose between the two proposals at that same meeting.
Gilmore’s résumé resume includes work in health care, finance, community planning, workforce development and disaster recovery. Gilmore is best known for a short stint in 2017 as assistant administrative officer under Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.
Lanus, who took office in January, and veteran board member Connie Bernard have served since May on a special “working group” that helped to develop the request for proposals that SSA and JG responded to.
Lanus has insisted that his past connection to Gilmore gives the SSA proposal no advantage. Moreover, Bayard Management has “absolutely no ties” to Gilmore’s Institute For Human Development & Excellence, he said.
“As outlined by Louisiana law, because this is the case, there was not and is not any conflict of interest,” Lanus said.