Stephen F. Campbell has been around quite a while in a number of capacities within the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and now he’s back as something called a Confidential Assistant to Louisiana State Police (LSP) Superintendent Mike Edmonson at the Joint Emergency Services Training Center (JESTC) in Zachary—with a benefit package that includes free room and board.
Campbell is a former Deputy Secretary of DPS in the Transportation and Environmental Safety Section. Following his retirement in 1987, he served as a public safety and transportation advocate in Washington, D.C., where he represented the American Trucking Association, the Motor Freight Carriers Association and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.
On July 11, 2011, he returned to LSP as Training and Development Program Staff Manager at $84,000 per year.
He remained at that position just over a year, terminating on July 31, 2012. Five days later, on August 5, 2012, he was appointed by Bobby Jindal as Commissioner of the Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) to succeed former State Sen. Nick Gautreaux.
He started out at a salary of $99,000 but on July 1, 2015, during a time state civil service employees were going yet another year without pay increases, he was bumped up to $104,000.
But political realities being what they are, Campbell’s position as head of OMV was destined to be short-lived. Four months later, Democrat John Bel Edwards was elected governor and in December, the governor-elected pegged former Democratic State Rep. Karen St. Germain of Plaquemine to the position and Campbell appeared to be out.
But wait. When you’re a FOE (Friend of Edmonson), you’re never out.
Campbell had no sooner cleaned out his desk than Edmonson appointed him as his Confidential Assistant on January 11, coincidentally, the day Edwards was inaugurated as Governor.
Edmonson attempted to negotiate a salary for Campbell that was comparable to what he was making as OMV director but was told that Campbell was not qualified for that salary grade.
So, his salary is $64,500 per year and while his official title is Confidential Assistant, he is assigned to JESTC as an assistant manager, a position that never existed before. Observers at JESTC insist that he does little, if anything, to earn his salary.
One insider said, “An assistant manager was never needed during those years that JESTC was training foreign officers, nor when Triple Canopy had a large portion of the property leased for their training operations.”
Triple Canopy, founded in May 2003 by veteran U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers, is a private security company that provides risk management, security, and mission support services for corporate, government and non-profit clients.
“There have been no outside agencies doing substantial business with JESTC since Triple Canopy moved away a couple of years ago,” our source added.
A search by LouisianaVoice of current and expired contracts turned up no contracts between LSP and Triple Canopy, so the terms of the lease agreement remain obscured. LouisianaVoice has made a public records request for that lease agreement.
The JESTC features a Staff Development Center (SDC), a motel-type facility. SDC rooms are commonly assigned to troopers when they arrive from out of town for extended training. The rooms are assigned by the SDC staff during normal office hours and by an LSP Barracks supervisor after normal office hours. Rooms are also rented by outside agencies which use the facility for various activities, including training.
LouisianaVoice has been told that the Barracks Lieutenant assigned Room 613 to Campbell, apparently on something other than a temporary basis because a recent mix-up stirred the ire of Campbell.
Recently, the Control Room Supervisor at the LSP Barracks received an irate call from Campbell. Edmonson’s Confidential Assistant, it seems, was complaining that Room 613—his room—had apparently been assigned to another trooper by mistake. Campbell told the supervisor that the room was reserved for his exclusive use only and was not to be assigned to anyone else in the future, according to our sources.
This is reminiscent to our story a couple of month ago which revealed that State Police Major Jason Starnes, subsequent to his separation from his wife, was residing in the LSP Training Academy’s VIP quarters, aka the “Charlie Dupuy Suite,” so named because Edmonson’s Chief of Staff Charlie Dupuy also resided there during his own divorce.
There seems to be a developing pattern here: If you are a FOE and in need of a place to crash, there’s plenty of rent-free space available, complete with all the amenities, including meals, at the LSP cafeteria.
These are perks not available to anyone outside Edmonson’s tight little circle.
Rank does have its privileges.