LSPC Chairman Simien states Burns’ reference to 19-second LSPC video clip to Gov. Edwards’ office was “irresponsible.”

LSPC Chairman Eulis Simien, Jr.

On January 11, 2021, Louisiana State Police (LSP) retired trooper Leon “Bucky” Millet fired off this email to members of the Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC).  We welcome our subscribers to read Millet’s email in full if they’re so inclined, but suffice it to say that one of his key points in the email is that there is no oversight over LSP.  From Millet’s email:

It has become quite evident that there is no oversight over the Louisiana State Police.

Sound Off Louisiana’s Robert Burns was copied on the email [as were Gov. Edwards’ Executive Counsel, Matthew Block; the Metropolitan Crime Commission; AP reporter Jim Mustian; WBRZ (Channel 2 in Baton Rouge)’s Chris Nakamoto; WWL (Channel 4 in New Orleans)’s Katie Moore; Republican State Representative Blake Miguez; and Republican State Representative Philip DeVillier (son of retired LSP Trooper Tanny DeVillier)].

Given Millet’s focus on “no oversight over LSP,” Burns chose to “reply to all” with the following one-sentence response:

Well, I guess the words of former LSPC Commissioner Lloyd Grafton of February 9, 2017 beginning at the 4:45 mark here,, right before he resigned in utter frustration, have proven to be VERY prophetic!!

For the second LSPC meeting in a row, Burns’ presence was requested outside in the hallway for a one-on-one discussion.  At the December 10, 2020 meeting, it was LSP Chief of Staff, Doug Cain, who sought Burns’ presence as a pre-emptive move in anticipation of our recent 20-year-old LSP cable television theft feature which focused on Cain.

At the January 14, 2021 LSPC meeting, it was Chairman Eulis Simien, Jr., who requested Burns’ presence in the hallway.  Once Burns was outside the hallway, Simien had the following very terse commentary for Burns:  “Mr. Burns, you’re obviously welcome at all of these meetings, and you’re entitled to your opinion, but I’m letting you know that I think it was absolutely irresponsible for you to post that this Commission has no integrity!”  Shortly thereafter, Simien stormed back into the meeting room to prepare for chairing the meeting.

Let us now address Simien’s commentary to Burns.  We challenge anyone to click on the preceding link of the You Tube video above, go to the 4:45 mark (as Simien had been guided to do), and listen to what former LSPC Member Lloyd Grafton had to say.  Heck, we’re going to make it easier than that.  We’re about to provide a 74-second video for which the first 19 seconds entail the commentary Burns was directing Simien and other recipients to listen to regarding Grafton’s commentary.  The remaining 55 seconds of the video below entail OTHER commentary by Grafton transpiring BEFORE the commentary to which Burns directed Simien.  Here’s that 74-second video for which the first 19-second segment is Grafton making the point which Burns referenced in his one-sentence response email:

Excerpts from January and February 2017 LSPC meetings, the first 19 seconds of which entail former LSPC Commissioner Lloyd Grafton stating:  “Right now, we have no oversight whatsoever over State Police!

Now, we’ll ask our subscribers this question:  Given Millet’s emphasis on lack of LSP oversight and given Grafton’s words in bold above (occurring precisely where Burns directed Simien to go on the video), would not any objective person conclude that, if Millet’s contention is indeed true (that LSP has no oversight), then can Grafton’s utterance of the exact same words almost four years ago be anything short of “VERY prophetic,” as Burns stated to Simien and others that they were?

Simien got his dander riled up not over what Burns directed him to watch on the video but instead over other material which was on the same video which we’ve placed onto the video above.  After all, since Simien obviously feels there should be a focus on it, we’re only too happy to accommodate his desires!

Clearly Simien demonstrated frustration that Matthew Block most likely watched the entire video and listened to Grafton’s other commentary (before the segment Burns referenced) wherein he said that the LSPC, “has no integrity.”  So, Chairman Simien has such thin skin that he:  #1) incorrectly stresses what Burns was focusing on entailing Grafton’s words to be lack of LSPC integrity rather than lack of LSP oversight, and #2) he obviously cannot handle another former colleague point-blank stating that Simien himself “has no character” (explanation forthcoming shortly).  He likely flat-out didn’t like Grafton stating that, “anyone who took part in that lynching of Cathy Derbonne I call low life and has no character, and I stand by that!”

Wow!  What a statement by Lloyd Grafton (not Robert Burns) to make about Eulis Simien!  Why do we say he’s making that statement about Simien?  Because if one watches from the 0:19 – 0:29 mark of the video above, when the roll is called to “accept (former LSPC Executive Director) Cathy Derbonne’s resignation,” Simien states (verbatim), “As is her desire to resign, I will accept.”

Since Simien seems so fixated on “integrity on the LSPC,” let’s examine his actions under the hood a little, shall we?

Prior to that vote to accept her resignation, as alleged in Derbonne’s lawsuit against the LSPC, she states that she was taken into a room and strong-armed into submitting her resignation.  From her suit just linked (Paragraph 27):

During that recess, members of the Commission pressured Petitioner to resign or they would humiliate her in public and that they already had enough votes to fire her.

So, Simien, upon exiting a room wherein such a strong-arming tactic was deployed, would have the absolute unmitigated gall to state, as plainly seen on the video above, “As is her desire to resign, I will accept.”

So, exactly how much integrity does that demonstrate on Simien’s part?  Not that we brought it up, but since he did, just how much integrity does that entail to make an utterly asinine statement of, “as is her desire to resign,” when he knew freaking well that most certainly was NOT her desire at all?!

We will also point out that Chairman Eulis Simien, Jr. is the ONLY sitting member of the LSPC to vote to accept Derbonne’s resignation!  That’s correct!  He is the ONLY (O-N-L-Y) one!

Now, perhaps Simien chose to unload on Burns after he himself had been unloaded upon by Gov. Edwards or a member of his staff (perhaps Block?).

After all, if Gov. Edwards is being vetted for a high-level position in the Biden administration, little video clips of one Commission member stating that a FEMALE Executive Director of one of Gov. Edwards’ Commissions was the victim of a “lynching” to terminate her and that the one and only present-day member who voted to essentially can her (the suit is more kind and technical in referencing the whole episode as a “constructive discharge”) not only remains on the Commission but actually serves as Chairman of that Commission certainly don’t help Edwards’ cause!

Were Biden Administration officials to inquire further, perhaps they may ask Gov. Edwards why there was such dogged determination to flush Derbonne.  Edwards could only respond with, “Well, because she did as my Commissioner of Administration, Jay Dardenne, instructed her to do and reported illegal campaign contributions to the Louisiana Board of Ethics.”

Hypothetically, if a Biden official vetting Edwards then asked, “What ultimately came of that and to whose campaigns were the illegal contributions made?” Edwards could only respond with, “Well, $17,500 of the contributions were to my own campaign, and the Louisiana Board of Ethics did slap the contributors, The Louisiana State Trooper’s Association (LSTA), with a $5,000 fine.”  Heck, perhaps Edwards may even then assert that his office had told Derbonne to, “shut the f— up,” but she just would NOT listen!   Again, from the previously-linked litigation (Paragraph 17):

he stated that the Governor’s office had told Petitioner [Derbonne] to “shut the f up”……..

Nah, the optics of that probably don’t look so great for Edwards nor any efforts to obtain a high-level position within Biden’s administration, but, hey, it’s all that blogger Burns’ fault, seeing as how he’s so “irresponsible” and all,  huh?

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LUI cheers on two qualifiers for U. S. Congress: Errol Victor, Sr. in House District 5 and Lloyd Kelly in House District 2.

Lloyd Kelly, moments after filing his qualifying papers with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office for the Louisiana U. S. House of Representatives District Two.  The election is set for March 20, 2021.

Today, January 21, 2021, Louisiana United International, a prisoner-rights advocacy group founded by Ms. Belinda Parker-Brown, touted the candidacies of two gentlemen, Errol Victor, Sr., and Lloyd Kelly for the upcoming special elections for two vacant U. S. House of Representatives positions.

Victor, whom Sound Off Louisiana recently expensively profiled, qualified for U. S. House District 5, which is presently vacant due to the recent unfortunate passing of Congressman-Elect Luke Letlow from Covid-19.  Here’s a video segment of Parker-Brown touting his candidacy immediately after submitting his qualifying papers to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office:

Parker-Brown and Victor’s Campaign Manager, Charlie Lincoln, discuss Victor’s Fifth District candidacy minutes after filing his qualifying paperwork with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office.

Meanwhile, Kelly, who had an interesting brief story to tell entailing Victor’s criminal trial, qualified for U. S. House District 2, which is presently vacant due to the previous incumbent, Cedric Richmond, resigning to become President Biden’s White House Office of Public Engagement.  Here’s video of Kelly touting his own candidacy:

Lloyd Kelly touts his candidacy for U. S. House District Two from Louisiana minutes after filing his qualifying papers with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office.

If you would like 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.

Though PRR response (including “sanitized phone”) may insulate Noel from alleged Greene death cover-up, estate seeks to substitute LSP trooper’s wife in lawsuit.

Ronald Greene shortly after his death on May 10, 2019.  The photo was released by his family to social media outlets in frustration over the family’s contention that Louisiana State Police (LSP) had not been forthright concerning Greene’s manner of death.

On September 10, 2020, Sound Off Louisiana was first to publish a feature on LSP secrecy surrounding the death of Ronald Greene.  As was easily predictable, our initial feature was followed by numerous features by other local, state, national, and even international media outlets.

On September 22, 2020, one key trooper involved in Greene’s death, Chris Hollingsworth, died in a one-vehicle crash mere hours after being informed by former LSP Col. Kevin Reeves that he would be terminated over the incident.  We’ll note that this action on Reeves’ part took place a full 501 days after Greene’s death but only 12 days after our feature linked above!

On October 1, 2020, former Advocate and now Associated Press journalist Jim Mustian broke a feature entailing Hollingsworth being recorded as saying he “beat the ever-living f—” out of Greene.

On October 8, 2020, LSP Commission Chairman Eulis Simien and LSP legal counsel Faye Morrison sparred over the circumstances and lack of communication of Greene’s death.  Let’s take a look:

10/8/20:  Simien and Morrison spar over Greene’s death.

Though many have characterized Hollingsworth’s death as a suicide, it should be noted that Hollingsworth’s death certificate officially classified his death as an accident.

On November 8, 2020, Sound Off Louisiana published this feature wherein we informed the public that, in Greene’s Federal civil litigation, former LSP Col. Kevin Reeves was added as a defendant in the litigation; furthermore, we stated our belief that it was likely that action and the filing’s allegations entailing why Reeves was added that caused Gov. Edwards to lose confidence in Reeves.  Reeves retired mere days after he was added as a defendant to the lawsuit notwithstanding Gov. Edwards’ very public proclamations made only days before that he had the “utmost confidence” in Reeves.

In the feature linked in the preceding paragraph, we outlined the defendants’ efforts to get the lawsuit tossed or, “in the alternative, provide a more definite statement” regarding a cause of action against the defendants.  In responding (i.e. making such a more definite statement), Greene’s attorneys outlined Hollingsworth’s words on the recording referenced above.  Reeves, while still serving as LSP Colonel, was added with allegations that he “conspired” with the troopers to conceal the nature of Greene’s death.  The amended pleadings also stated that all defendants, including the newly-added Reeves, wanted to “deny access” for a lawsuit to be filed seeking redress for Greene’s death.

That’s the history prior to today’s feature, in which we’re going to focus on the latest developments in Greene’s civil lawsuit.  We’re going to do so in table format, and that table follows:

Date of Filing in Federal CourtSummary of Filing with Hyperlink to Filing Itself
November 24, 2020Greene estate files this motion and order to substitute Darby Hollingsworth (Chris' wife) into his civil litigation in his place.
November 24, 2020Notice of specification of parameters for consideration of substitute party motion.
December 11, 2020Magistrate judge issues report and recommendations regarding Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (or make more definite statement).
December 15, 2020Chris Hollingsworth's attorney files this memorandum in opposition to the substitution of party motion filed by Greene's estate.
December 21, 2020Greene estate attorneys file this response to Hollingsworth's Opposition Memorandum to Substitute Party Motion.
December 26, 2020Defendants' attorneys file this appeal of Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation entailing Motion to Dismiss or Make More Definite Statement
December 28, 2020Defendants file this objection to Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation referenced above.
December 29, 2020Judge issues this judgment affirming the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendations.
December 31, 2020Former Col. Reeves' attorney files this Motion to Dismiss him from the litigation.
January 4, 2021Court issues parameters for consideration of Reeves' Dismissal Motion

We’ll let the attorneys on our distribution list and/or those who came to this feature by reference have a field day reading the detailed court filings above, but we’re just going to cut to the chase on what’s in the filings:

Greene’s attorneys assert the following in seeking to substitute Chris Hollingsworth’s wife, Darby, for him in the lawsuit (from the first document linked in the table):

The death of Defendant Hollingsworth has been suggested upon the record, and Plaintiff is entitled to substitute Hollingsworth’s successor, Darby Hollingsworth, as a Defendant in this action.  Accordingly, Plaintiff, respectfully requests that this Honorable Court Grant her Motion.

Meanwhile, from the fourth document linked above, Hollingsworth’s attorney argues:

The Supreme Court in Robertson noted that “ ‘the survival of civil rights of actions under § 1983 upon the death of either the plaintiff or defendant’ ” was an area not covered by federal law….

Hollingworth’s attorney further argues that, in the absence of Federal law covering the matter, the Court has to revert to Common Law to ultimately make the following argument (again, from the fourth document in the table):

Thus, under article 428, Greene’s claims against Trooper Hollingsworth were strictly personal and abated upon his death. Therefore, the claims are extinguished, so Darby Hollingsworth cannot be substituted as a defendant.

Likewise, there is no evidence that Darby Hollingsworth accepted the succession of the deceased Trooper Hollingsworth. Under Louisiana law, “[a]n action to enforce an obligation, if the obligor is dead, may be brought against the heirs, universal legatees, or general legatees, who have accepted his succession, except as otherwise provided by law.” LSA-C.C. art. 427. In the absence of any evidence that Darby Hollingsworth (1) is an heir; (2) who accepted the succession, she is not a proper party to this action.

In response to Hollingsworth’s attorneys arguments as outlined above, Greene estate attorneys replied (fifth document in the table above):

An action does not abate on the death of a party. The only exception to this rule is an action to enforce a right or obligation which is strictly personal. La. C.C.P. Art. 428. The statute makes no distinction between Plaintiff’s and Defendants and Hollingsworth cites no authority where Louisiana Courts have interpreted the statute to apply only to Plaintiffs. Instead, Hollingsworth argues that his obligation is strictly personal and therefore abated. An obligation is strictly personal when its performance can be enforced only against the obligor.  Moreover, a victim’s action for recovery of tortious damages is not strictly personal because it is a right to recover money damages.

It is undisputed that Darby Hollingsworth, was the spouse of Chris Hollingsworth at the time of his death. Accordingly, she is his heir and presumptive universal legatee. Specifically, where a deceased spouse is survived by a descendant, the surviving spouse has a usufruct over the decedent’s share of the community property to the extent that the decedent has not disposed of it by testament. La. C.C. Art. 890. Accordingly, Darby Hollingsworth, is Chris Hollingsworth’s successor. In the absence of a renunciation, a successor is presumed to accept succession rights.

Greene estate attorneys conclude by stating that, in the event the Court does not grant its Motion to Substitute Darby Hollingsworth for Chris Hollingsworth, that (again, from the fifth document in the table):

To the extent that Darby Hollingsworth claims to not be an heir to Chris Hollingsworth, Plaintiff requests that this Honorable Court grant Plaintiff limited discovery to discover the heirs to Chris Hollingsworth estate.  To the extent that Darby Hollingsworth claims to renounce succession, Plaintiff requests that this Honorable Court Order her to do so explicitly and formally.

What’s likely at stake here may be any life insurance proceeds obtained from Hollingsworth’s unfortunate death, and that may be especially the case given that the manner of his death was officially classified as “accident,” and many life insurance policies have a double-indemnity clause which kicks in for accidents.  Of course, the insurance company may opt to dispute the declared manner of death listed on Hollingsworth’s death certificate and, if the manner of death is ultimately deemed to be suicide, the benefit amount would drop to the policy’s face amount (assuming the policy had been in place for a minimum of two years).

Once the Motion to Substitute Darby Hollingsworth for Chris Hollingsworth is ruled upon, we’ll certainly alert our subscribers and other casual readers/viewers of Sound Off Louisiana of the Court’s ruling.

In the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation, she, Karen Hayes, concludes that, partially relying upon “common sense” (perhaps utilized from Hollingsworth’s recording of admitting to, “beating the ever-living f—” out of Greene?), that Plaintiff’s complaint, as amended (from the third document linked in the table):

states a plausible claim for relief (as to all counts, save her access-to-courts claim), sufficient to afford defendants fair notice of the claims against them.

Hence, the Motions to Dismiss were all denied except for the Denial of Access claim, which was dismissed without prejudice.  As the table above indicates, Defendants appealed the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendations, but the Judge ultimately affirmed that Report’s Recommendations and reduced same to a Judgment.

Importantly, the “access” claim argued by Defendants was granted.  Accordingly, Reeves’ attorney (see the ninth document in the table) filed a Motion to Dismiss him from the litigation based on Judge Hayes’ Report and Recommendation.  As of the date of this feature, Greene’s estate attorneys had not filed any Opposition Memorandum to Reeves’ Dismissal Motion into the court record.

It should be noted that Reeves implemented something unique at LSP in that he established a committee to evaluate potential disciplinary action against Troopers accused of wrongdoing.  Also remember that, in our recent feature on LSP Chief of Staff Doug Cain, our sources indicated that the Chief of Staff is essentially the de facto LSP Colonel.

The Chief of Staff under Reeves for the critical time period entailing the Ronald Greene matter was then-Lt. Colonel Mike Noel.  Our LSP sources indicated that Noel should have been a crucial player in the Greene incident.  They encouraged us to seek any correspondence or voice recordings, text messages, emails, etc. in which Noel may have referenced the word “Greene.”  We did so, but unlike the response we received when seeking documentation on any separation of service for Cain in the feature linked above, we essentially struck out with Noel upon receiving this response to our request.  Well, maybe we didn’t totally strike out.  From that response:

we have completed the search and have identified nothing responsive to your request related to Ronald Greene incident.  We have identified emails with the term “greene” in them however, they are in no way associated with the Ronald Greene incident.  Many of these emails deal with department matters that would still require me to review and redact the emails.  In this circumstance, the work necessary to do that is overly burdensome considering that although responsive to your request to search for “Greene” these emails in no way related to what I think you are looking for based on your date range.


There were no text messages or voicemails to search because LTC Noel turned in his phone when he left LSP and at that time his phone was sanitized pursuant to policy. 


Finally, LTC Noel’s letter correspondence was searched without any results.

We presented this response to our LSP sources, and to say that they are dubious would be a huge understatement!  They indicated that most folk would have likely preferred to keep his/her phone along with the data on it.  Further, in Noel’s new role as Chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, he remains under the huge umbrella of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety.  At any rate, we note some interesting commentary regarding Noel’s responsibilities in his bio on the Board’s website, to wit:

As Assistant Superintendent/Chief of Staff, Lt. Colonel
Noel was responsible for carrying out the executive level responsibilities and day-to-day operations of the Department overseeing 1,700 employees.

Noel assumed his present role on June 8, 2020, some 13 months after the Greene incident, so he had plenty of opportunity to be involved in the Greene matter.  Nevertheless, based upon the results of our public records request, it would appear Greene’s attorneys will have to work hard in deposing Noel to dispel the notion that he was “out of the loop” as George Hebert Walker Bush famously said.

After all, the person named to serve as Chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board is expected to have character which is beyond reproach due to the fact that credibility and honesty are paramount to assure no improper activity transpires in gaming activities, lest a major source of Louisiana tax revenue suffer  a decline should revelations of any improper activity surface.  It goes without saying that anyone playing an active role in the cover-up of a murder would fail that criterion, so Noel certainly needs to be fully out of the loop entailing any alleged Greene murder cover-up.

Based upon the results of our public records request, Noel would certainly appear insulated from any alleged murder cover-up, thus leaving the only logical conclusion being that the sole upper-brass responsibility for any such alleged cover-up rests solely with Reeves.  Whether Reeves may have anything to say on that assertion, however, will likely be an interesting line of questioning during his depositions of the Greene civil trial!

Morrison asked us if the response she provided above would suffice, and we indicated that it would.

In concluding this feature, some folk associated with LSP were curious to whether Kory York (the other LSP Trooper on the scene immediately with Hollingsworth) would have anything in his file to indicate any discipline was handed down to him for the Greene matter.  Accordingly, we made a public records request for his file as well, and the content of that file revealed only a traffic accident transpiring in 2009, so the one-word answer would certainly appear to be “no.”

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