Ex-school official accused of ethics violation

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Board of Ethics has accused a former Orleans Parish school official of pressuring a private contractor to create a position and hire a specific person for the job.

According to the charging document, Herman Taitt, the former Orleans Parish School Board executive director of operations allegedly wanted GCA Services Group to hire Andrenetta Thomas for a $13-an-hour "coordinator" job that was outside the scope of the private company's contract with the school board.

The school board had a contract with GCA to provide custodial services.

State law forbids government employees from using their authority to compel or coerce a private company to give anything of economic value to the employee or anyone else.

If he is found to have abused his office, Taitt could be fined $10,000.

In addition to a fine, violators also can be removed from office, suspended, demoted or have their pay reduced. However, Taitt has left New Orleans for a university job in another state.

Taitt's attorney, Willie Zanders Sr., of New Orleans, told The Advocate (http://bit.ly/1sLEPmC ) the charge was bogus and politically motivated.


Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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