Bits and pieces picked up by LouisianaVoice while out and about in the Gret Stet of Looziana:
Yet another Jindal scheme backfires
Bobby Jindal’s gambit for a hoped-for selection as a vice presidential running mate or appointment to a cabinet post may have just been shot down by another Indian-American governor.
Jindal, following Rubio’s strong showing in Iowa but before he faltered in New Hampshire, executed a calculated ploy to reignite his own fading extinguished political star. But South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley spoiled that fantasy, a dream which was about as likely as his winning the presidential nomination.
Right about now, Bobby has to be pretty much peeved at Nikki. She, after all, is a much more attractive prospect as a running mate. She is an articulate, conservative female who would give the ticket ethnic diversity—and her response to President Obama’s last State of the Union Address was far superior than Jindal’s response to Obama’s first one. She was actually coherent and he was, well….something else.
Oh well, as our friend Stephen Winham has said on more than one occasion, there is always the chance of a hostile takeover of the 700 Club by the one-time boy blunder.
Phone audits and changes at the top at Troop D
Meanwhile, we have learned from within Louisiana State Police that State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson, or at least someone acting on his behalf, has ordered that a toll analysis be pulled on department cell phones, presumably in Troop D, to try and determine who may be talking to LouisianaVoice.
As we pointed out before, it’s a classic example of shooting the messenger. LSP, aka Edmonson, does not want to know about problems in his department (and there are many, as we shall examine momentarily); he only wants to punish those vocal few who want to see the problems addressed. “They just can’t help themselves,” our source tells us. “It is the only way they know how to do business.”
Well, Mike, you can conduct all the cell phone audits you like but I’m afraid you’re going to come up empty. First of all, I don’t believe any retired troopers are going to hand over their phones and the active ones aren’t stupid. They know better than to use state-issue cell phones for such purposes for the very reason we’re now seeing played out in your little witch hunt. They wait until after work hours and when they are well away from LSP headquarters to contact us.
All of which also raises this question: Is this the same professionalism shown when you carry out investigations into criminal activity? If so, the criminals must be having a field day.
At the same time, we have learned that that Capt. Chris Guillory has been relieved of his command at Troop D—and that Ronnie Picou may even get his job back when he appeals. (We requested the investigative report now that the investigation has concluded, but our request was denied by LSP.)
Picou, it seems, was terminated for lying and not for payroll fraud in connection with all those times he was home sleeping when he was supposed to be on duty.
Funny how that works out. A state Department of Children and Family Services case worker was not only fired, but is being prosecuted for failing to carry out mandatory monthly in-home visits with foster children. Inspector General Stephen Street said her misconduct was not linked to any cases of child abuse but her pending arrest is significant for the potential of abuse. http://theadvocate.com/news/police/14884056-32/arrest-warrant-accuses-state-worker-of-reporting-at-least-20-times-she-had-checked-on-foster-childre
Picou is not accused of endangering the public while he was snoozing, but the potential was certainly there. And Guillory allowed it to occur just as he allowed other activity to occur as previously documented by LouisianaVoice. https://louisianavoice.com/2015/09/05/state-police-launch-internal-affairs-investigation-of-troop-d-commander-after-public-records-requests-by-louisianavoice/
Speaking of lying, it appears that Guillory may have been relieved of command for being less than truthful to investigators when he denied that he refused to take a complaint from Dwight Gerst. Guillory was initially cleared of that but LouisianaVoice subsequently published an audio of Guillory doing just that. https://youtu.be/zd-JV3rKjko
Following our posting the audio, Gerst re-filed his complaint with LSP Internal Affairs last week and on Thursday (Feb. 17), Guillory was re-assigned to State Police headquarters in Baton Rouge, effective Friday, a move tantamount to placing him on administrative leave, pending the results of further investigation.
One question to Mike Edmonson: Why did it require a series of stories in the media to prod LSP brass into action when they have known for some time that there were disturbing irregularities occurring at Troop D? Concerned troopers have complained on numerous occasions but nothing was done until a glaring light was shone on the situation.
That speaks volumes about the quality of leadership at LSP.
Troy Hebert just won’t go away
Also On Wednesday, Troy Hebert, former director of the state Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commission (ATC) appeared on the Jim Engster Show. http://www.jimengster.com/jim-engster-podcasts/2016/2/17/0217-wednesday-the-advocates-mark-ballard-republican-state-rep-chris-broadwater-former-senator-troy-hebert-assistant-editor-james-moran-of-tiger-rag
Hebert, who is flirting with becoming an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by David Vitter, was his usual half-baked self on the show, both in terms of sheer hypocrisy and blatant ignorance.
During his 38-minute interview (which is more than double the time to which Andy Warhol said he is entitled), Hebert credited Huey Long for creating the state Civil Service system.
Wow. Huey Long? Really? The man who practically invented political patronage in Louisiana?
Troy, Troy, Troy. Try Sam Jones and Jimmie Davis.
Jones, who served as governor from 1940-1944, was the one who finally overthrew the Huey Long dynasty and is credited with restructuring state government into a civil service system which, by the way, was dismantled by Huey’s brother, Earl K. Long, when he became governor in 1948. Jimmie Davis reinstituted civil service for keeps during his second term, from 1960-1964.
Huey Long indeed. Troy, you need to brush up on your history.
You also need to brush up on consistency.
During his interview on Engster’s show, he also advocated that all state employees, including college professors, punch a time clock in order to qualify for their paychecks.
Except for college professors, who do extensive research, grade papers, give lectures, and advise students, all outside the classroom, a time clock isn’t such a bad idea in concept. It’s done in the private sector and in most public sector cases, it would work just as well.
It’s not such a bad idea to have legislators punch a time clock. As it now stands, they are paid per diem for entire legislative sessions, including the current special session. But those per diem payments are also paid on Fridays and weekends, days on which legislators do not meet except on extremely rare occasions. How do we justify paying them $149 per day for days on which they do not meet? How do we justify paying them when they do not show up to vote on key issues?
(Taking the current special session, for example, which began on Feb. 14 and ends on March 9, there are nine days—Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays—on which the legislature does not meet. But each of the 144 members receives $149 for each of those days. That’s $193,104 in per diem payments for doing nothing.)
But… but… but, Troy, about those time clocks and your own attendance record at ATC…
How would you go about punching a time clock during the time you were out at the construction site when you were building that nice house on University Lake when you should have been tending to state business? We have it on pretty good authority that you were out there virtually the entire time construction was going on. Was there a time clock at the work site?
Was there a time clock at your apartment over the Copper Monkey Nightclub in the New Orleans French Quarter where you managed to spend quite a bit of time during working hours? Just asking.
….Now where did he go?