Louisiana Senate Commerce Committee Chiarman Daniel Martiny, R-Kenner.
On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, the Louisiana Senate Commerce Committee conducted a hearing on Sen. John Milkovich’s occupational licensee “Bill Rights” (SB-187). Tempers flared on full display during the meeting. Let’s take a few moments to cover highlights:
First, Sen. Milkovich gave a one-minute synopsis of his bill. Let’s begin by viewing his brief presentation of his amended bill.
Sen. Milkovich provides a brief overview of his bill.
After providing an overview of his bill, Sen. Milkovich took just two minutes to explain the need for his bill due to alleged abuses by occupational licensing boards and commissions. Let’s take a look:
Sen. Milkovich explains why he feels his bill is needed in Louisiana.
Milkovich then moved on to focus on the former disciplinary counsel for the Louisiana State Medical Board. Long-time subscribers of Sound Off Louisiana will recall that, on May 2, 2018, in closing on a similar “Bill of Rights,” Milkovich lambasted the individual in question and, though he admitted he was “not supposed to mention this person’s name,” he nevertheless did so repeatedly on the preceding linked feature. His commentary led to one audience member, New Orleans attorney Jack Stolier, charging toward Milkovich as he screamed out to him, “you’re a bald face liar.” While we were not present for the 2018 hearing (nor were we at the hearing last week), we’re told security informed Mr. Stolier in the hallway that, if he was to remain, he would have to gain control of his anger over the proceedings.
For the hearing of May 8, 2019, Milkovich lambasted the individual arguably even more than at the 2018 hearing. This time one of Milkovich’s own colleagues openly questioned some of his claims. Let’s take a look:
Milkovich is openly challenged by Sen. Page Cortez (R-Lafayette) regarding claims he makes about the former disciplinary counsel of the Louisiana State Medical Board.
Sen. Milkovich got under the skin of Sen. Commerce Committee Chairman Dan Martiny so badly that Martiny resorted to openly stating: “I’m not quite as stupid as you think I am!” Here’s arguably one of the more intriguing exchanges during the hearing:
Sen. Martiny unloads on Sen. Milkovich.
Sen. Cortez then grilled Milkovich regarding any “shaking down” of doctors by officials of the Medical Board as well as testimony by Dr. Ryan Haygood, a Shreveport dentist, the previous week (May 1, 2019). During his testimony (which we’ve merged into the video below), Dr. Haygood testified that Dental Board President Jerome Smith, by his act of composing and mailing this letter dated December 20, 2018, “slandered me.” He further testified: “This letter right here is full of lies and falsehoods that clearly aren’t reflected by the facts.” Before the discussion was over, upon Milkovich using features by blogger Tom Aswell to buttress points Milkovich asserted regarding “doctor and dental board corruption,” Chairman Dan Martiny retorted, “He’s not always right either. I’ve taken him to task on that too. Just because he says……It doesn’t matter.”
Cortez grills Milkovich on alleged “shakedowns” by Louisiana Medical Board staff and also Dr. Ryan Haygood’s testimony regarding Dental Board President Jerome Smith.
Chairman Martiny didn’t expend all of his frustration on Milkovich. He saved some for Dr. Eric Cerwanka, a licensee of the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Like Haygood, Cerwanka testified the prior week on May 1, 2019 regarding what he alleges are abuses by that Board. Martiny’s frustration literally boiled over entailing whether him telling Cerwanka, who had only five minutes to testify on May 1, 2019, “you’re welcome to come back next week,” meant just to observe or to testify more. That became a fairly terse argument between the two of them, and here’s a video of how that cat fight was resolved:
Cerwanka and Martiny spar over whether Cerwanka should be allowed to buttress his May 1, 2019 testimony with more testimony on May 8, 2019. CLICK HERE to see Dr. Cerwanka’s 5/1/19 testimony.
Apparently, members of the Psychologists Board felt that Dr. Cerwanka portrayed them unfairly on May 1, 2019, and so the Board called a special meeting on May 6, 2019, two days before Milkovich’s bill was scheduled to be heard. They convened an Executive Session to discuss “inaccurate information disseminated publicly to legislators and to licensees.” Here’s the agenda for the special May 6, 2019 meeting of the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists:
The Board opted to refute Dr. Cerwanka’s testimony via testimony by Amy Groves Lowe, who serves as outside counsel for the Psychologists Board and who testified regarding Cerwanka’s testimony as well as general concerns about Milkovich’s bill. Here’s the video of Groves Lowe’s testimony:
Amy Groves Lowe takes issue with the testimony of Dr. Eric Cerwanka.
Near the end of the meeting, three other doctors (one medical, two dentists) testified regarding their allegations of abuse by either the medical or dental board. Their testimonies in their entireties follow:
Dr. Vincent Madrigal vents his frustration with the Louisiana Medical Board. CLICK HERE for background and the Board’s decision entailing Dr. Madrigal.
Dr. Melvin Allen, former dentist from Ponchatoula, Louisiana, vents his frustration entailing the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry.
Dr. Andre’ Bruni, a Baton Rouge dentist, vents his frustration entailing the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry.
Milkovich’s bill was deferred, which effectively kills it for the 2019 Louisiana Legislative Session. CLICK HERE for the hearing on SB-187 in its entirety.
If you would like to be added to be added to our Sound Off Louisiana email list to be notified of future posts, simply go to our home page and scroll to the bottom (mobile devices) or to the top of the right-hand column (desktops). Supply your email address within the subscribe box. You’ll then receive an automated email from Word Press, and all you have to do is click on the blue “confirm follow” bar contained within that email, and you’ll begin receiving great posts such as the preceding one above.