T. Taylor Townsend, Head of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Super PAC
Although it was overshadowed by the “lapse of judgment” actions of former Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC) Chairman T. J. Doss and Vice Chairman Monica Manzella, Sound Off Louisiana published a feature the same day of that “judgment lapse” openly questioning if Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards may be stonewalling the issuing of an investigative report entailing illegal campaign contributions into his 2015 Gubernatorial Campaign by the Louisiana State Trooper’s Association. The open question entails whether Gov. Edwards is facilitating that stonewalling by proxy through the head of his Super PAC, T. Taylor Townsend, whom the LSPC hired (via a $75,000 contract) to investigate the contributions but yet who steadfastly refuses to provide any written report of his findings.
At the December 14, 2017 meeting of the LSPC, agenda item four was labeled “Investigation of LSTA Political Contributions.” Sound Off Louisiana’s founder, Robert Burns, chose to make public comment on the whole issue, and that public comment and the LSPC’s ensuing action are captured in the following brief video clip:
Burns expresses his sentiments on the LSTA political contributions and T. Taylor’s Townsend’s investigatory obligations thereof.
In other LSPC business:
Final decision issued entailing Trooper David Easley’s appeal.
Regarding the above appeal, we received inquiries entailing whether LSTA funds are expended to provide legal representation for LSP Troopers who appeal their disciplinary actions to the LSPC. Accordingly, we contacted the LSTA on Friday, December 15, 2017, and we spoke with Executive Director David Young.
Young indicated that, whenever an LSP Trooper desires to appeal a disciplinary action to the LSPC, as a member of the LSTA (which he indicated “93% – 94% of active troopers are members”), he or she may ask to have the legal representation costs covered by the LSTA. The process entails the trooper appearing before the LSTA Board of Directors, and a closed-door meeting takes place during which the trooper supplies the relevant facts and documentation to the Board. The Board then takes a vote and, if approved, LSTA funds are then allocated to provide legal representation to the trooper using attorney Floyd Falcon, Jr., who was first admitted to practice law in Louisiana in 1972, as the attorney who will represent the trooper.
Young cautioned, however, that “just because Mr. Falcon is serving as the trooper’s legal representative doesn’t directly infer that the LSTA is paying for that legal representation.” Young explained that Falcon has specialized in these type appeal hearing matters and would be virtually certain to be the one to represent the trooper even if the LSTA voted against providing funds for the trooper’s representation. Falcon’s expertise in these matters, according to Young, makes him basically the “go to attorney” for these matters irrespective of who may be paying for his services.
Discussed the parameters for upcoming hearings for the “Vegas crew.” That entails the appeals of Thurman Miller, Derrell Williams, and Rodney Hyatt.
Upon informing those inquiring about the LSTA providing funds for troopers’ legal representation for appeals if approved by the Board of Directors, we were asked if we knew if the LSTA would be funding the legal fees for the appeals of the “Vegas Crew” referenced above. We did not make such an inquiry of Young; however, we commit to do so prior to any appeal hearing for the troopers referenced above assuming the matter has not been covered by any other blogger or major news outlet.
Provided the election results of LSP Troopers to replace disgraced former Chairman T. J. Doss and provided an update on the status of the replacement of equally-disgraced former Vice Chairman Monica Manzella.
Lastly, all LSPC members expressed optimism that it will soon conduct its own in-house videotaping of all meetings and place those videos on its website as a means to increase the agency’s transparency.
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