The Louisiana State Troopers Association (LSTA) must really be hurting financially.
First, there was the flak about the illegal campaign contributions LSTA’s board decided to launder through the private bank account of its Executive Director David Young that brought unwanted attention to the association.
Then there was the persistent objections to that decision by several retired state troopers who are members of the association but, like the rest of the LSTA membership, were never consulted on the decision to involve the group in partisan politics.
Their objections became such an annoyance that four of the retirees, men who dedicated their entire working life to protecting the public and trying to make our highways safer, were voted out of the association. Just booted out. No thank-you, no going away party. Nothing except a letter saying they were no longer welcome as members of the brotherhood.
Eventually, the State Ethics Commission investigated the illegal contributions—illegal because state classified employees are forbidden from participating in partisan politics or for contributing to political campaigns—and levied a $5,000 fine against the association.
On the heels of that action the FBI served subpoenas on 18 members of the association, directing them to appear before a federal grand jury investigating association activities. That grand jury convenes on April 13.
As all this was going on, many State Troopers were victims of the floods that plagued Louisiana during 2016 and the LSTA generously pledged $1,000 to members who were adversely affected by the floods.
Included on its WEB PAGE is the following statement:
“We are committed to improved pay and benefits; to assure a better working environment; to provide support when needed; and to increase the quality of life for our members. We also strive to improve the public services provided by our members to our community.”
Somehow, though, the retiree members, those who likely needed help the most, were overlooked when those $1,000 checks went out. Several retirees have contacted LouisianaVoice to say they never received any help from the association.
Obviously, LSTA is short of funds. Why else would it, instead of helping out those retirees who were flooded (among them excommunicated member Leon “Bucky” Millet), reach out to them instead for contributions?
That’s right. Millet, a retiree who was booted out for protesting too much and who had his home flooded, recently received a solicitation letter from LSTA.
The letter which went out over LSTA President James O’Quinn’s signature, noted that the association uses contributions “to persuade government (apparently through campaign contributions) to provide better and safer conditions for our troopers. We use it to support community oriented programs that serve to enhance positive relationships between troopers and the communities they serve.”
The letter contained no mention of how contributions are also used for elaborate parties and to pay for travel all over the country for members to attend such work-related events as the Washington Mardi Gras.
“Because we’re grateful to those who are grateful for us, we like to recognize our donors with gifts. For our spring fundraising campaign, we have our much-requested official LSTA Field Cap. We also have our new 2017 window stickers, our wonderful spring vacation drawing and special recognition for our high-end donors.”
We’re pretty sure that a long-standing member who was expelled for asking legitimate questions would love to affix that sticker to his windshield and cruise on down the road wearing his official LSTA Field Cap.
Ending its solicitation on a personal note, the letter said, “Please consider a donation, Mr. Millet. We could use it.”
Yes. No doubt, the association may even use some of those contributions for legal fees.