Band director fired, LSU names interim director
BATON ROUGE - LSU Tigers marching band director Roy King was fired Tuesday after he was placed on administrative leave earlier this month, according to King’s attorney, and the university has named a new interim band director to take his place.
King had been placed on paid administrative leave on Apr. 6. In the past five years, King has been in charge of managing the performances fans see on the field at Tiger Stadium. He’s worked in administration for the band for 18 years.
King was placed on administrative leave following an internal audit but King's attorney, Jill Craft, King’s said the move was a witch hunt being conducted by jealous colleagues.
"It's a travesty," Jill Craft said about King's leave. At the time, it wasn’t clear what the university was hoping to uncover during the investigation.
Tuesday night, Craft was frustrated by how King was informed of his termination.
"The sad news is that after nearly two decades of great service to this institution, nobody at LSU was man enough to call him in; to tell him in person he was fired," she says. "They just let the mailbox do it.
Now, Craft says School of Music administrators made an effort to access the budget for the band, but King refused to allow it. The investigation into King was opened shortly thereafter. The attorney also said administrators from the School of Music were looking to divert Tiger Band scholarships away from the LSU band and toward music students.
A petition with more than 1,500 signature was submitted to Gov. John Bel Edwards and LSU President F. King Alexander asking school officials to retain his position, however the university has already named an interim band director.
"Today’s meeting with Tiger Band members was to announce that Dr. Dennis Llinas, the associate director of bands, will serve as our interim Tiger Band director," LSU spokesperson Ernest Ballard said in a statement.
"The Tiger Band is one of LSU’s most treasured and respected institutions. Our priority is that it continues to thrive and prosper, and that the experience is as great for the students who play in it as it is for the band’s many fans," the statement continues.
"We can confirm that Mr. King is no longer employed by LSU. We have provided Mr. King with a letter outlining our reasons based on an investigation related to adherence of policies, procedures and financial safeguards meant to protect Tiger Band and LSU. As this is a personnel matter, we can not provide further comment."
There was a closed door meeting for band members to learn of the changes this evening. News 2 attempted to speak with several of them afterwards, but all declined to comment.