MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — On November 1, 2023, reports confirmed that Monroe City Schools Superintendent Brent Vidrine will retire within a matter of days in the midst of an investigation of payments made to him in 2021. According to the Ouachita Citizen, the Monroe City School Board reached a settlement with Vidrine earlier this week to pave the way for him to retire.
Vidrine allegedly received approximately $209,410.20 made to him in February 2021 and $48,164.02 in July 2021, which were negotiated as part of his superintendent’s contract in 2018, according to school board members. According to reports, it was unclear how those negotiated payments drew scrutiny from School Board members and the state Legislative Auditor’s office.
In August 2023, the state Legislative Auditor’s office began an investigation that may not be finished until January 2024.
On October 30, 2023, Monroe City School Board President Bill Wilson announced the idea of having two interim co-superintendents for the school board due to the suspension of Vidrine. During a meeting, the school board voted four to three in favor of electing co-superintendents for the next six months. According to reports, Serena White and Sam Moore will be interim co-superintendents.
On October 24, 2023, the Monroe City School Board held a special meeting in regard to an investigation involving Vidrine and financial misconduct in the school district. In September 2023, Monroe City School Board members failed to suspend Vidrine.
At the previous meeting, a Monroe City School Board member proposed placing Vidrine on a 30-day suspension with pay as the investigation continues. The proposal required a unanimous vote from the board, which failed, and Vidrine was not placed on suspension.
The board reconvened to discuss and decide the fate of Vidrine. The board came to a unanimous decision to place Superintendent Vidrine on a three-month administrative leave with pay effective immediately.