Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards who, via his Executive Counsel, Matthew Block in an email of September 27, 2018, stated that he will NOT adhere to his West Point Honor Code and demand payment of $168,000 from the Louisiana Auctioneer Licesning Board resulting from funds absconded from taxpayers via state surplus auctions awarded to one of his drug-addicted appointees to the Board, Jacob Brown.
Sound Off Louisiana subscribers are familiar with our September 10, 2018 open challenge to Gov. Edwards to demand payment from the Louisiana Auctioneer Licensing Board (LALB) to reimburse taxpayers for the $175,000 in funds one of his appointees, Jacob Brown, fleeced us out of upon Louisiana State Police arresting Brown for writing two checks totaling just over $175,000 to the state which bounced (more details available here).
Gov. Edwards’ office did respond to us indicating that Gov. Edwards would not be making such a demand of the LALB notwithstanding the detailed statements we provided his office entailing LALB members openly advocating that the agency self-insure against these type losses because of the huge cash hoard it has accumulated. Gov. Edwards, in a response through his Executive Counsel, Matthew Block, sent to us on September 27, 2018, indicated that the most the Edwards administration is willing to do is to sue Jacob Brown, which they did on July 6, 2018.
Well, at today’s (November 5, 2018) LALB meeting, attorney Anna Dow reported that the bonding company has already paid the lousy $10,000 bond applicable for Brown to the LALB, and she wanted lightening-fast approval of the Board to issue checks to four aggrieved parties with the proceeds being pro-rated. As we noted in this feature, the State will get the lion’s share of the bond payment as a direct result of Gov. Edwards and Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne aiding and abetted Brown’s Ponzi scheme. How? They agreed to let him conduct yet another auction (NSF check notwithstanding) only 39 days after a $27,000 NSF check was known to exist on a prior state surplus auction conducted by Brown. The highly predictable result was yet another NSF check to the State for $148,000. That $148,000 NSF check constituted a needless and totally-avoidable loss to taxpayers, which vastly inflated our losses and also drastically reduced any payment to private-party clients of Brown from the bond coverage because of the pro-rating formula. As depicted in the following brief video from today’s LALB meeting, the State will receive $7,000 of the $10,000 bond payment:
LALB votes to issue check of $7,000 to State of Louisiana (making the net loss to taxpayers $168,000) provided the State of Louisiana agrees to hold the LALB harmless!!
Notice what we have placed in bold just below the preceding video. The LALB is insisting that the State of Louisiana hold the LALB harmless as a condition of accepting the $7,000 payment! Why should the State (i.e. us taxpayers) do that? After all, it was this Board who voted NOT to increase any bond coverage and stated “we can cover any losses!” Now, Gov. Edwards was challenged to make good on his Honor Code by insisting, based on his own appointees’ words that they honor THEIR OWN COMMITMENT to cover such losses, that the LALB remit a check to the State of Louisiana for the $168,000 (net of bond payment) we’re now out. As noted above, he has now failed his own Honor Code miserably by admitting that he is NOT going to seek payment of the $168,000 loss balance from the LALB. Much easier to seek yet more tax increases we assume!
Our original plan was to draft a certified letter to Attorney General Jeff Landry asking him to intervene on taxpayers’ behalf and sue the LALB to recover our $167,000. However, given how fast the LALB wants the terms of this bond payment to be accepted by the State, there is simply no time for a formal certified letter. Accordingly, we are now scrambling to get subscribers to contact AG Landry and not permit the bond payment to be accepted with that stipulation attached to it.
On Monday, October 29, 2018, a very prominent state public official contacted us and wanted to know what Gov. Edwards’ response to our challenge was. We talked with this official for well over an hour. We are now going to reach out to him and ask that he contact AG Jeff Landry to seek to have him block any acceptance of this bond payment with that stipulation attached to it and also to pursue suing the LALB to recover our taxpayers dollars.
It’s our sincere hope that Landry will do so and that he will have yet another instance of suing Edwards and/or his appointees in court and walking away with yet another victory.
We respectfully ask that you join us in those efforts by contacting Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Office via email (Executive@ag.louisiana.gov) or by phone (225-326-6705) and join us in our efforts, and let’s get our $168,000 back!
Look for further posts on the LALB entailing actions at its last two meetings in coming weeks (though for those curious, here’s today’s meeting in its entirety), but this is a top-priority item we felt was needed to be distributed ASAP because the LALB members are scrambling to get that check issued with a signed “hold harmless” stipulation from the State of Louisiana which we believe is very much unwarranted in light of the LALB’s culpability for causing such a massive hit to taxpayers!
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