Calcasieu Parish School Board receives ethics complaint

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - For years, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital has been the go-to place for high school student athletes in Calcasieu Parish, but Imperial Health Center for Orthopedics wants a chance to step in.

"Well, we have a lot of experience, said John Noble at Imperial Health. "We've trained with these people and been part of the community for four generations."

The school board voted in 2012 and 2013 in favor of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital continuing treatment on all student athletes instead of distributing the schools to both places.

"All I can say is that the vote in 2012 was 6-5, and the vote in 2013 was 7-6 and we ended up on the short end of the stick," said Noble.

An ethics complaint to the Calcasieu Parish School Board from Imperial Health alleges certain members on the board voted unethically.

The complaint says Mack Dellafosse declined to vote in 2012, because of a business interest with an employee at Imperial in 2012. Dellafosse did vote in favor of Memorial in 2013.

Bill Jongbloed is also listed and voted in favor of Memorial in 2013 as well.

"A motion was made by a board member, another board member not me, to go with Memorial Hospital like we have the past years and they had been doing well so that's why I voted to go with what we had been doing," said Jongbloed.

The main complaint states that Memorial paid for Jongbloed to participate in a golf tournament in 2010, which the complaint called an unethical gift that might affect his vote.

"If that was unethical and inappropriate, then I'm sorry," said Jongbloed. "I did not know and I will certainly not do it again."

Jongbloed said, in June, he turned himself in for the golf game after realizing it was unethical, but he said it had nothing to do with his vote.

Superintendent Wayne Savoie is also listed in the complaint for playing in the golf game, although he's not on the board. He said he prefers not to comment until he has read the ethics complaint himself.

The complaint asks that a full investigation be done.

Two school board members, Joe Andrepont and Billy Breaux, abstained from the vote on the contract.

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