The Parish Council made an emergency amendment to Monday night’s agenda (April 17) to discuss accusations that were brought against Council Clerk Sheryl Frederick. Frederick waived her right to notification and opted to have an open meeting instead of going into executive session.
The accusations were made in a letter written by Head Start Director April Wade (SEE DOCUMENT BELOW). While the letter said Sheryl displayed inappropriate conduct during a meeting held at the Head Start facility earlier in the month, several Parish employees vouched for her.
Their testimonials were all the same. A member of the policy council who was attending the meeting became belligerent with the Parish employees, going so far as to state that she demanded their respect, according to Cathy Creamer. The member, who was not identified at the Parish Council meeting, got in Cathy’s face. When Sheryl came to Cathy’s aid, the member backed her into a corner and called her “big,” “ignorant,” and “the devil.”
While Sheryl was offended, she kept her composure and was ushered out of the room by her coworkers. Her coworkers said they never heard Sheryl use explicit language, never saw her raise a hand or any of the other actions the letter accused her of.
“I don’t like this at all,” said Sharon Harris, referring to the copy of the letter each Council member received.
Parish President Rick Nowlin, who was present at the meeting where the altercation occurred, commended Sheryl for her composure and said he was very surprised to get the letter.
When an audience member questioned why the Head Start Director would write such a letter in the first place, it was brought to the Council’s attention that she wasn’t even in the room to witness the altercation.
Sheryl, a member of the policy council herself, said she is unaware of an action ever being taken to approve the member’s position on the council in the first place.
“She was just brought in,” said Sheryl. “I represent the Parish, we were in a Head Start facility with children and I wouldn’t stoop to her level.”
Council member Russell Rachal said he thinks the Council should require the director to submit a letter to them on how she will handle these false accusations.
“I think this is a bunch of lies and she owes us an explanation,” he said.
A representative from the District Attorney’s Office recommended, based on the letter and testimony, that the Council vote to express its opinion that Sheryl engaged in no inappropriate conduct and no actions will be taken. This was passed by a unanimous vote.