Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, on May 9, 2016, provided a (being kind) feeble explanation for his ouster of Rev. Freddie Lee Phillips, Louisiana’s first and only African American auctioneer in its history, only four days before from the Louisiana Auctioneer Licensing Board (LALB). That May 9, 2016 date was also only 15 days after Edwards made the Phillips appointment.
Later, Phillips would learn that Darlene Jacobs-Levy covertly sought to oust him, but he simply accepted that fact and subsequently founded what is now the only in-state auction school: The Freddie Phillips School of Auctioneering. That school was approved by the LALB on March 6, 2017 with Ms. Jacobs-Levy having specifically asked if Rev. Phillips anticipated having online instruction at the school. Phillips responded that he did, and no LALB member, including Jacobs-Levy, who voted in favor of licensing the school, voiced any opposition or concern. Nevertheless, at the September 11, 2017 LALB meeting, Jacobs-Levy voted to deny the first graduate of the school, Derek Perry, his auction license. She was the lone dissenting vote.
At the November 6, 2017 meeting, Phillips made known his preference for “peace and not war,” and school instructor Robert Burns, sensing Jacobs-Levy’s continued hostile sentiments toward Phillips, sought to have Jacobs-Levy recuse herself as a result of a damning email (see image below) wherein Jacobs-Levy cast Phillips in a very desparaging light. As evidenced by the video below, Jacobs-Levy sternly rejected any notion that she recuse herself; furthermore, she went so far as to state: “I stand by every word and allegation of that email.”:
Discussion entailing impending vote for John Gore, the second graduate of the Freddie Phillips School of Auctioneering, to be licensed as a Louisiana auctioneer. (See damning email read into the record below).
Recorded phone call between Jacobs and Burns of 5/6/16 referenced above.
Jacobs-Levy took matters further when she attempted a Hail Mary outlandish, unsubstantiated, and totally false allegation regarding instruction at the school:
Jacobs-Levy falsely accuses Phillips and/or Burns of “giving out legal advice.”
Jacobs-Levy makes her outlandish claim entailing the school’s illustration of a lawsuit against Gilmore Auction wherein the plaintiff makes the allegation that Frances Braud, Gilmore’s business partner and a real estate broker, “advised petitioner (buyer) that she had to wait until insurance proceeds were known.” The Plaintiff further alleged that Braud specifically said, “there was no need to get an attorney involved.” The school teaches the exact opposite and emphasized that Braud could have and should have advised, “It may be in your best interest to seek legal counsel.” How ironic that Jacobs-Levy would then outlandishly state that Burns and/or Phillips are “giving legal guidance” when, in reality, the guidance was to seek the services of an attorney!!
As to her statements about the “legal interpretation of the judgment,” the judgment is self-explanatory and states what it states! Lawsuit illustrations of this nature are replete throughout the school’s online video instruction, and Jacobs-Levy, rather than assisting aspiring auctioneers to learn from others’ mistakes (lesson 17, informal title searches, demonstrates instructor Burns’ own misfortune by not engaging in an informal title search before taking on his first real estate auction client and the ensuing mess he got himself into) and thereby not repeat them, Jacobs-Levy is actively working to shut this school, together with the invaluable instruction it provides, down!
Perhaps such shoot-from-the-hip, ill-advised statements by Jacobs-Levy are to be expected given that she totally imploded in a recent “wrongful death” civil suit by making similar shoot-from-the-hip statements in court (after having 13 years to prepare for trial!!). Despite her 13 years to prepare, Jacobs-Levy had the following horrendous performances in open court:
1. Stating to LSP Trooper Phillip Tagliarino, after he’d responded to a question of whether he’d called for backup with “Yes, ma’am,” that, “It’s not on the video!” She then had the embarrassment of playing the video in open court, only for the entire courtroom, including three jurors who raised their hands upon him calling for backup, readily seeing and hearing the man call for backup! Just what does the family of Mr. Arway, who’d retained Jacobs-Levy and waited 13 years for this disastrous episode, think of their counsel upon that episode? Likely not much. What does the bankruptcy trustee who’d agreed to retain Jacobs-Levy to pursue the claim (and thereby expend precious resources of the bankrupt estate) think of that horrendous performance in court? It probably wasn’t that favorable would be our guess!!
2. Asking of Trooper Tagliarino, after he’d responded to her question of why he didn’t retreat to his vehicle by stating, “because that would violate every aspect of training we’re given in these circumstances,” the following question: “Oh, so for you, it was not an option?” Do we really need to elaborate on the utterly asinine nature of that question? Tagliarino was justifiably baffled as to what kind of response he should even provide.
It’s one thing for Darlene Jacobs-Levy to make a complete fool of herself in the Tagliarino trial in the manner in which she did. No doubt Andrew Blanchfiled, LSP and Trooper Phillip Tagliarino’s defense counsel, was delighted to have her and her obvious anti-law-enforcement bias as his best weapon for winning over the jury. If so, she was clearly effective given a 12-0 jury verdict in favor of LSP and Tagliarino in just over 90 minutes of deliberations. It’s quite another thing to see the incredible degree to which Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is so willing to let Jacobs-Levy embarrass him and his administration. Nevertheless, only he can bring a stop to it and, if he is unwilling to do so, we will be more than happy to continue to expose her antics and any obvious embarassment to him and his so-called “Honor Code!”
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