LSU Tiger Band director placed on paid leave, attorney calls investigation a 'witch hunt'

LSU band director placed on paid administrative leave

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An LSU gameday tradition could take a possible hit after Roy King, the director of the Golden Band from Tigerland, was placed on paid administrative leave pending a human resources investigation.

It started almost four months ago as an internal audit, but King's attorney is calling what's happening a witch hunt.

King was named Band Director of the Year just three years ago and has worked in the Golden Band's administration for 18 years. However, it seems his relationship with LSU's School of Music has hit a sour note.

He was placed on leave in a meeting Wednesday morning pending the results of the investigation. However, his attorney, Jill Craft, said it is not clear exactly what the probe hopes to uncover.

"Between last week and obviously this morning it kind of seems as if they've been all over the place with you know what I would best characterize in my opinion as ridiculous allegations, absolutely ridiculous," Craft said.

Among the allegations is one that claims giving stipend money to the 325 member Tiger Band is in violation of a university policy, while another allegation claims King forwarded resumes from those applying for the School of Music's dean position to other employees.

Craft called the timing of the allegations is suspicious. She said rumors of wrongdoing only surfaced after King's supervisor wanted to use funds dedicated to the Tiger Band for other School of Music students who are not part of the band.

"When my client said 'you can't do that', all of the sudden there's some sort of an internal audit investigation," Craft said. "That doesn't work so then we're going to do a human resources investigation. We're going to place you on paid administrative leave which is almost you might as well you know hang a scarlet letter around his neck. It's awful."

LSU spokesperson, Ernie Ballard, denied the claim in the following statement:

"Normally, we would not comment on personnel matters but as his counsel has made public, he is on administrative leave. However, this is not as a result of any alleged dispute between Tiger Band and the School of Music. As of this time, this matter is ongoing and the university plans to not comment further."

Craft said it is similar to rumors springing up late last year that administrators were planning to fire head football coach Les Miles. She added, yet again a loyal employee's future is in limbo.

"How about we get on the same page?" she questioned. "Frankly from my perspective, how about we get on the same page about educating these children and giving them a wonderful educational experience."

It is not clear how long the administrative leave will last. Craft said she was told they could expect to hear more within the next seven to 10 days.

A rally to show support for King is planned for Friday at 9 a.m. It will be held in the Greek Theater on LSU's campus.

Copyright WAFB 2016. All Rights Reserved.