Superintendent of State Police Mike Edmonson just cannot help himself. He can’t.
While he stood in front of the TV cameras and said he is ultimately accountable for the state of chaos his office finds itself in, he still refuses to accept responsibility for specific actions.
Back in 2014, when LouisianaVoice first became aware of Edmonson’s ability for deception through the latest revelations about his usurping an award from one of the most respected State Troopers in Louisiana, he has repeatedly attempted to shift blame onto others.
And while I am by no means qualified as a psychologist or a psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Vaknin, in his book Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited, classifies this behavior as a form of narcissism. More about that later but first, let’s examine the brief history of our coverage of Edmonson and Louisiana State Police (LSP).
- In the closing minutes of the 2014 legislative session, State Sen. Neil Riser (R-Columbia), an announced candidate for State Treasurer, slipped an amendment onto an otherwise benign, obscure bill that would have increased Edmonson’s retirement by some $55,000 per year. Riser (did we mention he’s a candidate for State Treasurer) assured fellow legislators that the bill had no economic impact and the bill with the attached amendment sailed through with even then State Rep. John Bel Edwards voting in favor.
LouisianaVoice received an anonymous tip about the ruse and broke the story and the backlash was immediate. Edmonson, as his emerging behavioral traits would reveal over time, disavowed any knowledge of the effort by then Capt. Jason Starnes, though it’s absurd to think Starnes would ever attempt such a move without the blessings of his boss. Edmonson, in fact, later admitted that he was aware of the amendment and did, in fact, give the go-ahead to Starnes.
Starnes, meanwhile, has seen his career skyrocket. His salary has gone from $59,800 as a lieutenant to his current salary of $150,750, an increase of 152 percent. Most recently, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and given a $25,000 raise—after Edmonson assured the Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC) in August that the creation of the post of supervisor of management and finance would not incur any additional costs.
- When LouisianaVoice learned that the Louisiana State Troopers’ Association (LSTA) had laundered campaign contributions to various politicians through the personal bank account of the LSTA executive director, Edmonson again denied any involvement. But how many really believe the LSTA would act of its own accord in approving campaign contributions?
- Edmonson also denied that he asked the LSTA to write a letter to Governor-elect John Bel Edwards in December 2015 endorsing Edmonson for reappointment to lead state police for another four years. LSTA ultimately ditched the idea, but how did it come up in the first place? Edmonson desperately wanted to hold onto the job and sources say his denial notwithstanding, he requested the LSTA to write such a letter.
- Now he’s claiming he had no knowledge of the side trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon taken by four troopers as they drove Deputy Superintendent Lt. Col. Charles Dupuy’s state vehicle to San Diego for the convenience of Edmonson.
Yet, there was his signature on the expense report of Maj. Derrell Williams, head of Internal Affair, who was the senior officer of the four who drove the vehicle. So how could he have not known?
- His explanation? It was a signature stamp affixed to the report by his secretary. Not his fault, in other words.
Seriously, Mike? You’ve already thrown the four who drove Dupuy’s Ford Expedition at your direction under the bus. Now you’re going to throw your secretary under the bus as well?
We’re beginning to detect a disturbing trend here.
At least you admitted that Michelle Hyatt, wife of Lt. Rodney Hyatt, was a civilian passenger in the Expedition along with the four troopers in that cross-country jaunt. It’s going to be interesting to see how you manage to shift that responsibility onto your subordinates.
Now, back to Dr. Sam Vaknin and his book about narcissism. Among his descriptions of narcissistic behavior:
- A “consummate manipulator of human emotions.”
- Convincing, deviously successful.
- Uses anything and anyone to secure his dose of “narcissistic supply” and discards, without hesitation those he deems “useless.”
- They disguise their behavior in order to “humiliate, create dependence, intimidate, restrain, control and paralyze.”
- They employ “very simple” deceptive mechanisms to achieve their goals.
- He usually is unaware of why he is doing what he is doing and is generally unable to predict the outcomes of his actions and is “powerless” to modify his behavior.
- He is unable to determine why he does what he does or why he chooses one mode of action over other available under the same circumstances.
GEORGE SIMON, Ph.D., puts another way:
- When they blame others for their wrongful acts, it’s simply an attempt to justify their stance by casting themselves as being in a position where they simply had no choice but to respond the way they did. In this way, they simultaneously evade responsibility as well as manipulate and manage the impressions of others. The tactic goes hand in hand with the tactic of portraying oneself as a victim. It’s typically an effective tactic that gets others to pay attention to everyone or everything else except the disordered character and his wrongful behavior as the source of a problem.