Soon after showing near-reverence to disgraced State Judge Trudy White, Louisiana Cosmetology Board quietly fines hair braiders $550 for possessing no license.

Disgraced 19th JDC Judge Trudy White

Sound Off Louisiana subscribers may recall not long back us exposing the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology (LSBC) turning a near-total deaf ear to the Institute for Justice’s (IJ’s) Lee McGrath stating his rationale for advocating that Louisiana hair braiders be allowed to practice without a cosmetology license or special permit requiring 500 hours of instruction.


Hair braiders who are practicing in Louisiana with no license or permit need to be forewarned that they likely represent yet another large pot of untapped fine money for the LSBC, which quietly demonstrated its resolve to begin capturing said fine money at its December 4, 2017 meeting.


At that meeting, the LSBC voted to accept a consent agreement for a hair braiding operation entailing two hair braiders operating with no licenses.  In the following brief video, McGrath makes some quick arguments before Louisiana House and Senate committees defending IJ’s position, followed by LSBC attorney Celia Cangelosi’s rather blasé explanation of a proposed consent agreement calling for a $550 fine for the hair braiders, followed by McGrath stating to Louisiana Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Dan Martiny how successful IJ’s litigation in Federal Court in California was entailing challenging that state’s hair braiding licensure requirement:

McGrath’s arguments to Louisiana House and Senate, Cangelosi’s blasé coverage of consent agreement,
McGrath’s coverage of IJ’s California hair braiding Federal litigation.


Meanwhile, the LSBC showed near-reverence to 19th JDC disgraced District Judge Trudy White as she presented a vague proposal for having “lifers” in Louisiana’s Correctional Institute for Women provide “alternative-hair instruction”:

White making 12/4/17 presentation to LSBC in its entirety.  Note:  As outlined on the link above, White is referenced as an integral part of a “pretrial supervision scheme” wherein reference is also made to alleged RICO statute violations thereof.  Cleve Dunn, Sr., father of her campaign manager, is identified in that litigation, which was filed by the Sothern Poverty Law Center, as the primary beneficiary of that alleged “scheme.”


The preceding video is date and time stamped, and here are some interesting observations we noted and reference to the time stamp of each:


1:07:34 – White arrogantly states, “I don’t know that we need your blessing going forward, but certainly we don’t want any opposition.”

1:08:23 – White states that Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson “thought well of this idea that she invited…..” (an unnamed Court of Appeal Judge who made a vague reference at the outset about the meeting being recorded).

1:09:36 – LSBC Chairman Edwin Neill, III asked an unidentified representative of the Department of Corrections about any “limitation on sharp implements.”  Shockingly, the representative indicates “there is not.”  He further states that, “for a reasonable cause, which this is, they can maybe go to a little more of a blunt scissor.”

1:11:39 – Though White’s entire outline of her proposed program is incredibly vague, she further clouds even that outline by referencing that “these are lifers.  They’re not getting out.”

1:13:56 – LSBC member James Williams makes a less-than-subtle effort to flatter White by asking about “Judge Judy.”


We at Sound Off Louisiana were utterly stunned that LSBC Chairman Edwin Neill, III would make such a huge issue of public safety entailing unincarcerated hair braiders perhaps occasionally trimming the very last inch or two of hair using scissors, yet he would cavalierly accept with no follow-up the above-referenced inquiry he made wherein “lifers” will apparently be free to utilize scissors to engage in what he clearly defines as cosmetology acts!  What a contrast!

We also would have been far more impressed with LSBC Member Williams if he’d inquired about the Southern Poverty Law Center’s references to White being an integral part of a “pretrial supervision scheme” and its references to alleged RICO statute violations thereof.  For Williams’ benefit, we provide a direct link to that litigation.

In fact, we would have shown even more respect for Williams had he directly confronted White and inquired, “Will anyone be profiting from this proposal you’re making here today similarly to the way Cleve Dunn, father of your campaign manager, did in that alleged RICO scheme I saw plastered all over the news?”

Of course, given that Williams likely doesn’t know squat about White or the alleged scheme, we’re more likely to win the next Powerball drawing purchasing only one ticket than to witness him making such an inquiry!

White, who may likely belong in Federal prison as an inmate herself for her role in Dunn’s alleged “scheme,” further disgraced herself in having to apologize to her colleagues for running the following convict-friendly campaign ad:

Disgraced Judge Trudy White’s 2014 television campaign ad.

White has also been profiled for overruling jury verdicts and, in the process, angering many black residents who were victims of violent acts, the perpetrators of whom were tried in White’s courtroom.

So the logical conclusion here is that McGrath and IJ simply don’t understand Louisiana politics. To succeed in Louisiana, one does not appear before the Louisiana House and Louisiana Senate making logical arguments. Instead, one merely seeks out a disgraced State District Judge and have her do the heavy lifting for you! As an alternative, there’s always the Federal courts as McGrath indicated had to be utilized in California. In our opinion, that’s likely a soon-to-come development in Louisiana, but then, what do we know?


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LSPC punts yet again on suing JBE’s Super PAC Director Taylor Townsend, votes on parameters for proceeding with “Vegas Crew” appeal hearings.

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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Vietnamese attorney Connie Trieu sounds off at Louisiana Cosmetology Board meeting regarding job losses resulting from its continued tough stand on California reciprocity.

Vietnamese attorney Connie Trieu and family.

At the November 6, 2017 meeting of the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology (LSBC), Vietnamese attorney Connie Trieu sounded off regarding the LSBC’s often-inflexible position on California reciprocity and the adverse impact that position has on the Louisiana job market as she indicates many manicurists simply relocate to California where they find the regulatory environment less burdensome:

Trieu laments job losses to California resulting from Louisiana’s tough stand entailing California reciprocity.


Trieu amplifies a major concern expressed to Sound Off Louisiana from the time we first began covering the Cosmetology Board in early 2015.  In fact, at that time, many members of the Vietnamese community expressed concerns about the April, 2015 meeting wherein a line item was on the agenda for “California reciprocity.”  The following segment of the April 13, 2015 LSBC meeting demonstrates the resolve of LSBC’s Executive Director, Steve Young, to suspend Louisiana’s reciprocity with California:


LSBC Executive Director Young openly ponders suspending reciprocity with California due to their authorities indicating they would be “removing their seals from their certifications.”


As evidenced by the preceding clip, several members and Young indicate, regarding California licensing authorities, that, “you cannot get a live person on the phone.”  That statement, especially when combined with the statement that California licensing authorities were taking the utterly bizarre measure of “removing their seals from their certification documents,” prompted Sound Off Louisiana to contact the California authorities.  We had no difficulty whatsoever getting them on the phone.  Furthermore, we were told that Young’s statement was flatly false and that they’d experienced a temporary machine failure but that a new color-printed seal was being incorporated into their documents.

In light of what we were told by California licensing authorities, we made a public records request of the LSBC for whatever documentation Young referenced in the previous video clip indicating California was removing its seal. What we got was  this email which actually confirmed what California licensing authorities said to us over the phone.  One thing is abundantly clear from this sequence of events:  Trieu’s concerns regarding Louisiana’s steadfast opposition (for whatever reason) to California reciprocity are well founded; furthermore, it is abundantly apparent that Young sought to exploit the “temporary machine failure” to attempt to suspend Louisiana’s California licensing reciprocity!

Trieu also expressed concerns entailing the “obvious language barrier.”  According to former Congressman Joseph Cao, approximately 90% of Louisiana’s 2,200 nail salons are Vietnamese-owned.  Nevertheless, even as WBRZ’s (Channel 2 in Baton Rouge) news director, Lee Polowczuk, continued to press LSBC Executive Director Steve Young entailing hiring a Vietnamese translator to facilitate these licensees’ interactions with the LSBC, as evidenced by the following video clip, Young flatly indicated to Polowczuk that he is concerned with a Vietnamese translator for hearings only:

 LSBC Executive Director Young clearly indicates his only concern is having a Vietnamese translator for hearings and not everyday interaction with the Vietnamese community.


The LSBC resolved the California reciprocity application applicable for Trieu’s client by agreeing to permit her to take the licensing test and, upon passage, indicating a willingness to issue her a cosmetology license.


In coming days, we’ll be updating everyone on the LSBC’s latest actions entailing hair braiding.  We believe you’ll find that segment of keen interest entailing job opportunities in Louisiana vs. Mississippi.



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