‘Our bills are all current and we pride

ourselves on that,’ superintendent says

The Iberville Parish School Board is current with its creditors, Superintendent Arthur Joffrion, Ed.D., said, although a Baton Rouge television station reported differently last week.

The alleged problem suspected of the School Board is it was delinquent on its insurance premiums based on a letter a TV reporter received from a School Board employee the reporter would not identify.

“First, I want to clarify that despite Chris Nakamoto’s report, the ‘problem’ he based the report on was not healthcare insurance but life insurance,” Joffrion said. “This is related to life insurance.”

“We work through a third part administrator called NPA (National Plan Administrators of Austin, Texas),” he continued. “We send them our check from monies we’ve collected from our employees checks to pay for NPA’s services and they send a check to Colonial Life for our employees’ benefits.”

Friday, Dec. 15, Joffrion said he received information from one of the parish’s teachers that she had received a bill from Colonial saying that her life insurance had not been paid.

Early last week, he received a phone call from a School Board member who said they had gotten calls from two other employees saying that they had received similar letters from Colonial.

“Our payroll supervisor immediately began working with Colonial and NPA to find out what exactly had occurred,” Joffrion said.

“We went into our financial records and we found that we had sent our checks to NPA as we always do, on a monthly basis, and that they had received the checks and our records showed that those checks had indeed cleared the bank,” he continued.

“So we knew NPA had received its payment,” Joffrion said. “Now what happened between NPA and Colonial, I cannot speak to that.

“What I can speak to is that our payroll supervisor had worked with Colonial to ensure that they had received the funds from NPA so there was no danger of any employees losing their insurance or even having to pay any delinquent bill,” he said. “NPA is now in possession of the check for December’s premium so we’re current with them.”

“That is the God’s honest truth as what happened,” Joffrion said. “The employees who received letters received the letters in error from all that we can determine from our side.”

The superintendent also addressed another aspect of the television reporter’s story – the School Board being delinquent with some of its accounts payable. Nakamoto produced a bill from one of the companies the board uses for pest control as proof.

Joffrion said he was told by the unnamed employee the bill was obtained by the TV reporter after he called one of the three companies and told someone at that company he was “Chris with the Iberville Parish School Board employee.”

He provided the Post South with an email that originated from the pest control company with the subject line of “Statement and Invoices from” one of the companies.

Joffrion would not identify the company, but said an employee at one of them said they had sent those records to someone who identified themselves as “Chris with the Iberville Parish School Board.”

The forwarded email shows it was sent from that School Board email address to what is apparently Nakamoto’s work email address. It was later forwarded to several other School Board employees, including Joffrion.

“All three pest control companies have verified that we are current and we are not on a ‘no-service’ list,” Joffrion said. “All three want to continue having a business relationship with us.”

“I told Chris Nakamoto that this wasn’t newsworthy, that everything was in order.”