Legislators Claim Jindal Trying to Oust Higher Education Chief

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A group of Republican state representatives accused Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office Monday of trying to secretly have State Commissioner of Higher Education Jim Purcell fired for speaking out against the governor’s proposed budget for next year.

The legislators said they have “reliable” information that Jindal recently sent Deputy Chief of Staff Taylor Teepell to talk to members of the Louisiana Board of Regents, the state’s higher education policy board, about having Purcell removed from office.

In response, legislators led by state Rep. Cameron Henry, R-New Orleans, put out a statement Monday to “condemn” the Jindal administration and calling on the governor to apologize to the Board of Regents.

Henry said he and his colleagues felt compelled to say something over what they described as the governor’s pattern of intimidating people who don’t agree with him.

“Clearly, the governor would prefer to run the state like a dictatorship,” Henry said. “He shouldn’t be in the business of trying to fire people for telling the truth.”

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