Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Civil Service’ Category

When Department of Public Safety (DPS) Undersecretary Jill Boudreaux took that early incentive retirement buyout and then returned after a one-day “retirement,” and after having promoted herself to Undersecretary, she not only pocketed $59,000 to which she was not entitled, but knocked a New Orleans State Trooper out of tens of thousands of dollars by denying his retirement request.

LouisianaVoice first published the story in April 2014 of how Boudreaux gamed the system (Click HERE for that story) back in April 2010 but only recently learned of how in doing so, she deprived a 28-year veteran of the opportunity to take advantage of the special incentive buyout offered at the time by the Jindal administration.

Here is a copy of the email Boudreaux distributed to DPS employees: EARLY RETIREMENT INCENTIVE NOTICE

The email, dated April 21, spelled out the formula for calculating the buyout, based on salary and accrued leave time and offered the incentive plan to up to 20 applicants with participation being on a first come, first serve basis.

The problem for State Police Sgt. Troy McConnell was that he, unaware of the buyout plan, had submitted his retirement notice at 4 p.m. the previous day (April 20) in order to take a job as a member of newly-elected New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s security detail.

Some might say that the rules are the rules, but upon learning of the incentive the following day and knowing that it was virtually impossible for the state to process his retirement papers in one day’s time, he quickly contacted his superiors at Louisiana State Police (LSP) headquarters in Baton Rouge about rescinding and re-submitting his application with an April 21 date so that he would be eligible for the buyout.

His request was referred to LSP Human Resources (HR) and on up the chain to Boudreaux who indicated there were already about 20 letters of intent in HR at the time the memorandum was distributed and that most of those applicants had also called. She advised that once applications had been received by HR, they could not be withdrawn or cancelled.

Boudreaux’s position does not agree with that of a source with long time experience at LSP who said he was aware of more than one potential retiree withdrawing a request to retire. “The rule had generally been so long as the retirement board had not acted on the application, the potential retiree could select another date without prejudice,” he said.

“It was not unusual for a trooper to file a letter of intent to retire and then withdraw it for one reason or another and ask to set a new date” he said.

“But then none of those prior requests for changes would have negatively impacted Jill Boudreaux’s retirement and prompt return to service,” he added, “so this was an easy call for her to make.”

Nor did it correspond to information provided by the State Office of Civil Service.

While State Civil Services does not regulate retirement, here are the Civil Service Rules that deal with resignations:

12.11 Resignations

(a) An employee’s oral or written resignation becomes effective on the date and time specified by the employee. An oral resignation must be documented by the person receiving it.

(b) An employee may not withdraw or modify the resignation after the appointing authority accepts it, unless the appointing authority agrees (emphasis added).

The appointing authority in this case would have been LSP. Because less than 24 hours had elapsed when McConnell made his request to rescind his application, the State Police Retirement Board obviously had not had time to formally accept it. Accordingly, McConnell’s retirement application could easily have been withdrawn and re-submitted, Boudreaux’s claim to the contrary notwithstanding.

“That is consistent with what I’ve seen over the years,” the LSP source said.

And yes, the rules are the rules. No one, including McConnell questions that—except the rules did not prohibit his withdrawing his application for later submission as Boudreaux claimed. “It is what it is,” McConnell told LouisianaVoice by telephone today.

But that didn’t stop Boudreaux from grabbing one of the 20 incentives for herself, pocketing $59,000 and returning to work the very next day—with a promotion. You gotta love her chutzpah.

Boudreaux was subsequently directed by then-Commissioner of Administration Angelle Davis to return the money she had received but she never did. She retired for good six years later, on March 4, 2016, reportedly at the direction of Gov. John Bel Edwards. (See that story HERE).

Despite Boudreaux’s having elbowed her way to the front of the line—she reportedly was the very first to submit her application for the early retirement package—McConnell harbors no resentment today.

“Yeah, I was a little bitter at the time because I felt I should have been able to withdraw my application and re-submit,” he said. “But overall, I have been blessed to have been able to work for State Police all those years. I’m satisfied.”

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

As a recovering Republican, I feel I am in a unique position to suggest that all political party labels be abandoned in favor of candidates representing constituents as opposed to clinging stubbornly to the blind loyalty of some group of adherents referring to themselves as Democrat, Republican or Libertarian.

Civilized countries like Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom have no legal political parties (although the media sometimes mistakenly refer to opposition groups as “parties”). If it’s good enough for them, it should suffice for us.

For once, I’d like to see a politician who is defined not by some label but by his own core beliefs and principles, formed independently and absent the dictates of a so-called “party” which is supported by special interests who dictate the philosophy of its labeled and packaged candidates.

I would much prefer to vote for someone because of he or she actually stands for something rather than putting party loyalty above all else. President Teddy Roosevelt had the political courage to stand up to his own Republican Party and demand corporate health regulations and to fight monopolistic trusts. Somehow, that courage has evaporated in the interest of party unity which, of course, encourages a more reliable flow of campaign contributions from the vested interests.

I don’t say this as a way of placing my intellect above that of my contemporaries (God knows that would be a foolish assumption on my part) but the two major parties in this country—all the way down to our petulant legislature—long ago arrived at loggerheads with each other to the detriment of those who put them in office.

It’s more than a little sickening to watch. Besides, we already have The Jerry Springer Show.

In a recent discussion with an old friend and long-time political observer, he noted that Democrats as a group refuse to accept anything proposed by Republicans and Republicans as a group counter in kind. Can anyone really wonder that Congress has a lower approval rating than porta-potty cleaner-uppers? (Coincidentally, it might be worth mentioning that the longer Congress is in session, the greater the demand for porta-potty cleaner-uppers.)

My friend, who spent his career in state government, confided in me that he promised himself long ago that if he ever became jaded with his job, he would retire. He is now retired.

So, why don’t we just be honest with ourselves and admit that our political system no longer functions as a two-party, give-and-take forum? When you had someone like Sam Rayburn as Speaker of the House, things got done in Congress even though there was Republican opposition. That’s because while there was opposition, the two sides left room for compromise. With Newt Gingrich, we instead got a governmental shutdown. (Rayburn, the longest-serving House speaker in history, by the way, died broke while our own Bobby Jindal, by contrast, became a multi-millionaire during his three years in Congress.)

Elected office is no longer considered a public service; it is instead, an avocation in and of itself, a stepping stone to the next move up. Witness the shameless pursuit of the presidency by Jindal and the equally self-serving ambition of Attorney General Jeff Landry, U.S. Rep. Garrett Graves and U.S. Sen. John Kennedy to oust John Bel Edwards as governor. Accordingly, you will not hear the first utterance by Landry, Graves or Kennedy in support of anything proposed by Edwards.

Likewise, should Donald Trump ever say or propose anything with a scintilla of original thought or meaningful purpose, you will never hear Nancy Pelosi or any other Democrat speak out in support. That just isn’t done any more. There’s no civility in politics, no room for compromise.

Witness the banal, hackneyed behavior of the Louisiana Legislature, particularly over the past 10, 20, 30 years.

Because the state has systematically failed to pay its mandated share into the state retirement system, we’re now saddled with an insurmountable unfunded liability in each of the state retirement systems.

For decades, taxpayers of Livingston, Ascension and East Baton Rouge parishes have been paying a millage to construct the Comite River Diversion Canal project to prevent flooding. The project is no nearer completion today than it was 25 years ago and we have the delays to thank, at least in part, for that horrendous flood of last August. And now guess what? After pissing away the monies that were supposed to have gone to flood control with those millage collections, some legislators, in their collective buffoonery, now want to snatch nearly $200 million from federal monies intended for flood victims to use instead for flood control.

It’s almost like gasoline taxes that were supposed to have gone to repair our roads and bridges and the revenue from gaming that was supposed to fund public education. Of course, as soon as those gaming funds were approved, the legislature jerked an identical amount from other funding, the Support Education in Louisiana First Fund, and the result for public education was another version of the old shell game. Now you see it, not you don’t.

Fast forward to the Jindal years when state employees suddenly found themselves going six years on end without a pay raise. Now those Jindal years have spilled over into the Edwards years and those same legislators are still playing a game called kick the financial can down the road and state employees are still falling further and further behind the inflationary curve. Prices are up, health insurance is up, but salaries remain stagnant—with the exception of State Police (not to be confused with Department of Public Safety officers who undergo the same training but have not enjoyed the 30 percent pay raise received by State Troopers).

And now, House Bill 302 by House majority leader Lance Harris (R-Alexandria) would assess parolees an additional $37 fee per month (from $63 to $100), the money to be used to fund a pay increase for parole officers. As has become almost a ritual, the vote was split along party lines.

It’s really a beautiful thing to watch these guys cherry pick their personal little projects—like Harris’s fee assessment. I’m sure the rest of Louisiana’s civil service employees are applauding his magnanimous gesture toward the beleaguered parole officers.

Not to diminish the seriousness of their plight, but parole officers aren’t the only state civil service employees who are hurting. And Harris is not the only member of the legislature who is completely out of touch with the daily struggles of state employees, many of whom were victims of last year’s floods.

This is serious business and Harris and his colleagues should get together and try to figure out how the state’s fiscal problems can be addressed without the same old tired political rhetoric spouted along party lines. It’s time for compromise and hard decisions and the legislature, as a body, is not showing any inclination of making those hard decisions.

The governor’s plan is not perfect—far from it. But neither is the continued petty bickering of the legislature getting anything done. You’re not being paid to come to Baton Rouge to participate in some kind of elementary school blame game. You were sent here to solve problems and put this state back on sound financial footing.

Instead, you plaster an “R” or a “D” to your respective foreheads and start squawking like a couple of tomcats in a dark alley—even as you hold out your hands for political contributions from the special interests who pay you to just keep squawking like you always have.

A hint: We can see you and we can hear you and you’re not impressing anyone.

Drop the party labels and declare yourselves not as Republican or Democrat but as Louisianans.

Do the right thing. Do your jobs.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

One quit, another walked out and a third just said he wanted some answers and a fourth presented a witness who seemed a little too well-coached and in the end, nothing was accomplished because the fifth, aka the chairman, had the look of a Cervidae enrapt in the vehicular illuminating devices (deer caught in the headlights).

Just another routine meeting of the Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC) on Thursday.

Well, maybe not so routine. There was the shouting match between members Jared J Caruso-Riecke (the “fourth” as referenced above) and Lloyd Grafton (the “one” above) with both men invoking words like “best face,” “integrity,” and “pontificate.” Oh, number four said “pontificate” a lot.

Meanwhile, the man around whom the entire controversy swirled, State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson was off somewhere out of state collecting another award to go in his trophy case or schmoozing with Louisiana politicos at the Washington MARDI GRAS.

Caruso-Riecke, of Covington, brought Louisiana State Police (LSP) Human Resources Director Ginger Krieg before the commission to explain the smoke and mirrors concept of how the appointment of Jason Starnes to the role of retired Undersecretary of Management and Finance Jill Boudreaux (even though he possesses zero accounting experience) was accompanied by an immediate promotion to lieutenant colonel and a $25,000 per year pay increase without incurring any additional expense as promised by Edmonson.

The position was created last August when Edmonson asked for the creation of an unclassified position to oversee Management and Finance. At the time, he said there would be no addition expenses to LSP and that the position was not being necessarily for Starnes.

Krieg explained that Boudreaux had retired and her $100,000 per year position was never filled so the $25,000 pay increase for Starnes actually amounted to a savings to the state.

What Caruso-Riecke and Krieg failed to mention in their exchange (which seemed so well-rehearsed that one of them should receive an Oscar nomination) was that state statute says the governor “shall” appoint an Undersecretary of Management and Finance. So, if the law is followed and an undersecretary appointed….poof! There goes that savings.

Grafton reiterated what Edmonson had said in August and said Caruso-Riecke was just putting a “good face” on the duplicity of Edmonson, Starnes, and Edmonson’s supporters on the commission. Caruso-Riecke erupted, accusing Grafton of an “absolute falsehood.” He admonished Grafton to not “sit down there and say I’m trying to put a ‘best face’ on something when I’ve gone above and beyond in trying to get to the truth.”

Here is the video link to that EXCHANGE.

“What have you done other than pontificate for the press?” he asked, practically shouting.

Grafton, in a more subdued voice (relatively speaking), said, “I’ve tried to keep some integrity on this commission and there is none. You came on this board with an agenda and that agenda was fulfilled last month when (former Executive Director) Cathy Derbonne resigned from this commission because of the harassment and the crap she was having to put up with since (pointing to commission Chairman T.J. Doss, of Shreveport) a State Trooper was TDY’d (assigned temporary duty) to Baton Rouge to hang around her office every day and to find fault with her and (who) said at a public meeting that he was gonna get rid of Cathy Derbonne. He followed through with that (and) lived up to my low expectations of him and he managed to have this commission stuffed with people who want to endear themselves with State Police management who could care less about the civil service function of this board. The Louisiana State Troopers Association (LSTA) has absolutely helped destroy this commission.”

Grafton said the commission is supposed to investigate, among other things, claims of harassment brought by troopers but now those claims “go straight to management and that trooper doesn’t have a chance. That just destroys the civil service standing of this board.

“I have 55 years of law enforcement education experience. I know something about what is integrity and what is not. Wanting to go to a Christmas party is more important than holding management accountable and it’s going to come back to haunt you.

“The only salvation for this commission is for it to be dissolved and for the Civil Service Commission to take over the oversight of the State Police because right now we have no oversight whatsoever. The Colonel of the State Police (Edmonson) can do anything he wants to. He can lie, he can do anything and he does plenty of it and nobody holds him accountable.”

Caruso-Riecke interrupted Grafton, denying that Edmonson said there would be no pay raise for the new position. “Why don’t you listen to the tape instead of sitting up her pontificating (apparently he likes that word because he kept using it) for the press? For you to sit up here and act like you’re holier-than-thou and the only one with any integrity and character? That’s insulting to everyone else sitting here.”

“Anyone who joined in with that lynching of Cathy Derbonne has no character and I’ll stand by that,” Grafton replied.

“Last I checked, she resigned,” Caruso-Riecke shot back, conveniently forgetting that her fate had long been decided before her resignation.

But Grafton did not forget. “She resigned because she was told she was gonna be fired.”

Donald Breaux of Lafayette asked Grafton to identify those who said she was going to be fired. He had not opened his mouth to that point and probably should not have then since the worst-kept secret in the room was that there were four solid votes, a majority, to fire Derbonne just as Doss had indicated he wanted done. Derbonne was even told that during a 30-minute break in the January proceedings. “You bring up a lot of stuff, Grafton, but you have nothing to back it up with,” said Breaux, a former sheriff.

“When you say Grafton doesn’t know what’s going on in the State Police, you have underestimated my ability to get information,” he said.

Grafton, the most senior member of the commission, subsequently announced that he was attending his final meeting. “I’m through,” he said. “This commission has become useless and the only way it can ever be fixed is for the governor to get involved. I resign.”

His rant was followed in short order by member Calvin Braxton of Natchitoches who said he was not resigning but would refuse to participate in an executive session on the agenda about which he had no prior notice.

“I’m a reasonably intelligent person and I don’t like being kept in the dark and I am being kept out of the loop on this commission. You’ve got an item on the agenda calling for an executive session to discuss a trooper’s appeal. I was told nothing about this and I refuse to be a part of it.”

Here is the link to his part of the discussion:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOMahyElYQ0&feature=youtu.be

Moments later, both he and Grafton were gone.

Then it was Eulis Simien, Jr.’s turn. The Baton Rouge attorney, who was appointed to the board last year, said like Grafton, it was his impression at the conclusion of Edmonson’s presentation last August that there would be no pay raise involved for the new position. “I said at a prior meeting that I would like for the person who said that to come to us and explain what he said,” he said. “Instead, we get the head of HR. That’s not who made the presentation to us last August. I asked for him to come before us and I want him to come before us.”

All the bantering, shouting and “pontification” of Thursday’s meeting comes on the heels of a 13-page report by the Louisiana Board of Ethics that investigated the practice by the LSTA of having its Executive Director David Young make political campaign contributions in his name to circumvent prohibitions against political involvement and then reimbursing Young for “expenses.”

It was LouisianaVoice’s initial story about the contributions more than a year ago that launched the investigation which resulted in three former LSPC members being forced to resign when it was learned that they, too, had contributed to campaigns.

The recent Ethics Board report only went back to 2014, so the $10,000 in contributions to former Gov. Bobby Jindal were not included in its investigation. It did, however reveal that LouisianaVoice‘s report that $10,000 was contributed to Gov. John Bel Edwards was considerably less than the $17,500 actually contributed to his campaign.

LSTA and Young got off extremely light with a fine of only $5,000, the document reveals. While state law allows an imposition of a penalty “equal to the amount of the contribution plus 10 percent ($35,000 plus $3,500 in this case), LSTA and Young were actually subject to fines of about $70,000, or twice amount of the total contributions, for “a knowing and willful violation.”

Young had admitted to the LSPC more than a year ago that the money was laundered through his personal account so as to allow the LSTA to get around the prohibition against such political activity. That constitutes “a knowing and willful violation.”

It was the embarrassment of the LSTA and Edmonson that forced the LSPC to conduct a sham investigation of the activity, an investigation that resulted in the recommendation that “no action be taken.” That recommendation was made by Natchitoches attorney and former State Sen. Taylor Townsend, a political supporter of Gov. Edwards who was paid $75,000 to issue an unwritten, “no action” recommendation.

And on Thursday, it culminated in the resignation of a conscientious commission member, the walkout of an honorable member, and further questions from another member who appears to want to do the right thing—if someone would just tell him what was said.

But there are four other votes on the commission and their interests obviously lie elsewhere.

Why else would the commission have as its chairman a State Trooper who conceivably could one day be called on to investigate his boss?

Read Full Post »

One thing we’ve learned about the Louisiana State Troopers Association (LSTA), the independent lobbying organization for Louisiana State Police (LSP), is that despite a recent $5,000 fine for illegally making political contributions, the organization was far from through.

At the 2016 LSTA retreat in New Orleans held at the Omni Hotel Jan. 18-20, former Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley (R-Lake Charles), who was front and center on state police pay raise issues, was rewarded for his work on behalf of State Police while in office.

While retiring state troopers are usually given a watch, the LSTA board voted to purchase a handgun costing several hundred dollars for Kleckley.

Technically speaking, the presentation of a handgun by a grateful LSTA was not a “political” contribution, given the fact that term limited Kleckley had left office on Jan. 11, a whole week before he was given the gift.

It’s interesting to note that state ethics laws strictly prohibit the receipt of anything of value by state employees but do not apply to barely out of office legislators.

LSTA New Orleans / January 20, 2016

Meeting with Command Staff

Col. Edmondson, Major Jason Starnes and Col. Dupuy addressed the board of directors. Command Staff covered LSP issues, Legislative issues and LSTA issues.

A Motion was made by Mr. Rodney Hyatt for the LSTA to purchase a handgun for Mr. Chuck Kleckley, seconded by Mr. Badeaux with no objections, the motion passed.

Here is the State Board of Ethics agenda item dealing with the LSTA contributions:

Louisiana State Board of Ethics Agenda

Friday, January 20, 2017
Docket No. 15-1385

Assigned Attorney: Jennifer Land
Re: Consent opinion regarding the Louisiana State Troopers Association making campaign contributions in the name of its executive director and then later reimbursing him for those contributions.
Law: La. R.S. 18:1505.2A(1) provides that no person shall give, furnish, or contribute monies, materials, supplies, or make loans to or in support of a candidate or to any political committee, through or in the name of another, directly or indirectly.
Facts:The Louisiana State Troopers Association and its executive director, David Young, signed a consent opinion for violating La. R.S. 18:1505.2A(1) and paid a civil penalty of $5,000.

 *(Source: Louisiana Ethics Commission’s Internet web page)

It is well-documented here as it has been elsewhere that when Bobby Jindal refashioned the Louisiana Board of Ethics in 2008, ethics laws for public officials were effectively gutted and the Ethics Board rendered all but impotent. His ethics “reform” prompted mass resignation of ethics board members who were the only ones at the time to understand the significance of what he had done. Besides usurping the board’s enforcement powers, the move effectively dismissed outstanding ethics violations charges against several of Jindal’s legislative allies.

But even the Ethics Board in its weakened condition was able to do what attorney Taylor Townsend, hired to investigate the LSTA’s campaign contributions, could not. Townsend, hired to investigate what appeared to be a money laundering type of scam to conceal illegal political campaign contributions by Louisiana state troopers could find no reason to even file a written report, let alone take any definitive action against troopers involved in the decision to make the contributions.

So, perhaps Mr. Townsend, in light of the Ethics Board’s actions on Docket No. 15-1385 cited above, can tell us just what he did to earn that $75,000 stipulated in his contract. He certainly doesn’t appear to have investigated anything.

While Townsend may not have been able to find any reason for punishing those responsible for the decision to funnel Louisiana State Troopers’ Association’s (LSTA) funds through its Executive Director David Young in an obvious attempt to circumvent civil service or in this case, Louisiana State Police Commission rules, retired State Trooper Leon “Bucky” Millet isn’t giving up so easily.

Millet has filed a formal complaint with both State Police Internal Affairs and with the Louisiana Office of Inspector General.

In an apparent effort to held Inspector General Stephen Street prove that his office is something more than expensive window dressing and to assist him in any investigation his office may choose to pursue, Millet also included a 2001 decision by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeal. That decision upheld a lower court ruling that the City of Kenner was justified in firing members of the executive board of the Kenner police association for making political contributions.

Rather than read the entire ruling, the key passage in the court’s decision is highlighted in yellow on pages 1, 3, and 4.

Of course no good deed goes unpunished. When Millet and three other retired state troopers voiced their objections to the political contributions (which included $10,000 each to Bobby Jindal and John Bel Edwards over a period of two election cycles), they became marked men by their brothers in blue—at least by those on the LSTA board.

With only two “no” votes (by Troop Presidents Chris Brown of Troop B and Larry Badeaux of Troop C), the four retirees were unceremoniously kicked out of the LSTA, their combined memberships of half a century revoked—with no reason given other than that it could. So much for backing the blue from within. So much for any pretense of inviting, or even allowing differing opinions. Get caught laundering money and punish the whistleblowers. It’s the classic “shoot the messenger” type of action that LSP is supposed to be above.

Unfortunately, LSTA has shown it is run by petty, vindictive people unwilling to accept responsibility for their own actions.

Here is the portion of the minutes to the Nov. 2, 2016, LSTA Board meeting in which the votes were taken to expel the four retirees:

Louisiana State Troopers Association

November 2, 2016 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Title: Louisiana State Troopers Association Board Meeting

Date of Meeting: November 2, 2016

Where: LSTA Office, 8120 Jefferson Highway Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Start Time:          9:00 AM

The meeting was called to order by President Jay O’Quinn. The meeting opened with the pledge of allegiance led by Jay O’Quinn followed by a prayer by David Young.

Jay O’Quinn called roll as follows:

Derek Sentino, Troop A President

Chris Brown, Troop B President

Larry Badeaux, Troop C President

Chance Thomas, Troop D President

Chris Wright, Troop E President

Andy Stephenson, Troop F President

Hack Willis, Troop G President

Dale Latham, Troop I President (Absent)

Heath Miller, Troop L President

Rodney Hyatt, HQ President

Doussan Rando, Retiree Rep (Absent)

Jay O’Quinn, LSTA President

David Young, Executive Director

Old Business:

David Young updated the board on the Ethics Board investigation and its findings. The ethics board has ruled against the LSTA and fined the LSTA $5000.00.

A MOTION was made by Derek Sentino to accept the advice of our attorneys, acknowledgement of the facts of the Ethics Board ruling and pay the $5000.00 fine.  Seconded by Chance Thomas. No opposition.  The motion passed.

A MOTION was made by Derek Sentino to remove LSTA members Jesse Perry, Blaine Matte, Leon “Bucky” Millet and Tanny Devillier and for each removal of a member to be voted on separately. Seconded by Heath Miller. 

Roll Call Vote: Jesse Perry

Derek Sentino, Troop A President – Yes

Chris Brown, Troop B President – No

Larry Badeaux, Troop C President – No

Chance Thomas, Troop D President – Yes

Chris Wright, Troop E President – Yes

Andy Stephenson, Troop F President – Yes

Hack Willis, Troop G President – Yes

Dale Latham, Troop I President – Absent

Heath Miller, Troop L President – Yes

Rodney Hyatt, HQ President – Yes

Doussan Rando, Retiree Representative – Absent

Vote: 7-2, Passed

Roll Call Vote: Leon Millet. 

Derek Sentino, Troop A President – Yes

Chris Brown, Troop B President – No

Larry Badeaux, Troop C President – No

Chance Thomas, Troop D President – Yes

Chris Wright, Troop E President- Abstain

Andy Stephenson, Troop F President – Yes

Hack Willis, Troop G President – Yes

Dale Latham, Troop I President – Absent

Heath Miller, Troop L President – Yes

Rodney Hyatt, HQ President – Yes

Doussan Rando, Retiree Representative – Absent

Vote: 6-2, Passed

Roll Call Vote: Tanny Devillier

Derek Sentino, Troop A President – Yes

Chris Brown, Troop B President – No

Larry Badeaux, Troop C President – No

Chance Thomas, Troop D President – Yes

Chris Wright, Troop E President – Abstain

Andy Stephenson, Troop F President – Yes

Hack Willis, Troop G President – Yes

Dale Latham, Troop I President – Absent

Heath Miller, Troop L President – Yes

Rodney Hyatt, HQ President – Yes

Doussan Rando, Retiree Representative – Absent

Vote: 6-2, Passed

Roll Call Vote: Blaine Matte

Derek Sentino, Troop A President – Yes

Chris Brown, Troop B President – No

Larry Badeaux, Troop C President – No

Chance Thomas, Troop D President – Yes

Chris Wright, Troop E President – Abstain

Andy Stephenson, Troop F President – Yes

Hack Willis, Troop G President – Yes

Dale Latham, Troop I President – Absent

Heath Miller, Troop L President – Yes

Rodney Hyatt, HQ President – Yes

Doussan Rando, Retiree Representative – Absent

Vote: 6-2, Passed

A MOTION was made by Derek Sentino to send a letter to the four members who have been removed from the LSTA. Seconded by Chris Brown. No Opposition, the motion passed.

So no one on the board had the nerve to tell them to their faces. They were notified by letter.

Real class.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »