Farmer Broussard sues LSP Trooper Lopez, son Benjamin alleging “actual malice” in “effectuating a baseless and groundless arrest warrant” upon which Broussard was arrested by St. Martin Parish Sheriff Breaux’s Office.

Louisiana State Police Trooper Scott Lopez, along with his son, Benjamin Cole, show a video to St. Martin Parish Sheriff Deputy Baily Romero on April 25, 2022 upon which they claim farmer Billy Broussard should be arrested for “simple assault” of Benjamin earlier that day.  Broussard was in fact arrested by the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office on May 10, 2022, after which Broussard filed a defamation suit against LSP Trooper Scott Lopez and his son, Benjamin Cole, alleging defamation regarding material in the voluntary statement executed by Benjamin Cole during Romero’s visit inside the Lopez residence.

Editor’s Note:  We want to express the highest level of praise to two young ladies working at the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office entailing our public records requests for this feature.  Specifically, Ms. KAREN BERTHELOT and Ms. EVE LAPEROUSE could not have possibly been more professional, more courteous, or more diligent in providing us with the public records we requested, and we sincerely thank them for the professionalism and cordiality extended to us during all of our correspondence with both of them.

As subscribers who’ve followed this blog for at least a year are aware, we’ve produced a number of features on Billy Broussard and his ongoing battle with St. Martin Parish Government (SMPG) officials regarding a 33-acre site he acquired for disposing of vegetative materials.

We’ll provide all of the links for our prior features at the bottom of this feature, but for the benefit of newcomers, let’s give a brief recap.  Broussard filed a complaint against LSP Trooper Scott Lopez entailing a June 14, 2021 incident in which Broussard asserts his driver was improperly pulled over as he neared the 33-acre site (which is down the street from LSP Trooper Scott Lopez’s home) and was told by Lopez, “You better not go down my road again if you know what’s good for you.”

As is typical for LSP Troopers, Lopez failed to activate his body camera for the incident and was therefore issued a Letter of Reprimand for having failed to do so.  For the record, we EMPHATICALLY DISAGREE with LSP Col. Lamar Davis when he says, “a trooper has discretion to turn off his body camera when he assesses that the situation won’t be combative.”

That statement is perhaps the most bone-headed, idiotic, asinine statement we’ve ever heard ANY public official make; furthermore, given the circumstances under which Davis made that statement, the public has every right to be outraged (and they clearly are) by Davis’ recent irresponsible conduct.

In our opinion, what needs to happen is that “LA-ONE” (i.e. Gov. John Bel Edwards) needs to mandate Davis be assessed with the first $350 fine which technically don’t take effect until August against Davis to set an example.  Furthermore, Edwards (as “LA-ONE”)  should mandate a 24-hour suspension of Davis to demonstrate that LSP Troopers are NOT going to be permitted to be “above the law.” Davis can, of course, appeal that suspension to the Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC) if he so chooses, and we’d love to film that!

Hell will obviously freeze over before Edwards would take such action, however, because, even if Edwards tried to hold Davis (or anyone else, for that matter at LSP) accountable, they have an arsenal of firepower they could direct back toward Edwards that would cause him major problems politically and, almost assuredly, legally as well!

Anyway, Lopez gets a Letter of Reprimand entailing not activating the body-worn camera and, thereafter, he (Lopez) went on a tirade at the January 6, 2022 meeting of the SMPG Planning and Zoning meeting accusing Broussard of little short of being Satan himself.  He was also assisted by his son, Benjamin Cole, who was a minor at the time.

For that conduct, for which Broussard filed a second LSP Internal Affairs complaint, Lopez was initially issued a Letter of Counseling (which is not considered discipline) by his Troop Captain, Beau Comeaux.  That action by Comeaux, however, was overridden by newly-installed Commander of Internal Affairs, Captain Saleem El-Amin, who concurred with Broussard’s allegation that Lopez’s conduct on January 6, 2022 constituted Conduct Unbecoming of an LSP Trooper.  We will soon make public records request (once we know Lopez’s appeal period has passed) for his disciplinary file to see what discipline was handed down as a result of that assessment by El-Amin.

That’s a quick recap of the history for the benefit of newcomers.  Now for the latest in the ongoing soap opera.

On May 29, 2022, Broussard filed this defamation suit against Trooper Scott Lopez and his son, Benjamin Cole Lopez.  [Editor’s Note:  Broussard informed us that he inadvertently misnumbered two (2) paragraphs on the suit and made a few other minor typing errors and that he has prepared — though not yet filed — an amendment to his suit to correct those minor errors.  We chose to integrate those changes into the just-linked uploaded file so that it would represent a current version of the suit as Broussard represents it to us.]

The easiest way to describe what Broussard claims happened is to just take his allegations directly from the just-linked lawsuit:

42.

            The second-to-last paragraph of both of the above two complaints contain wording provided by LSP which is replicated below:

“I have been advised that Louisiana State Police has a policy prohibiting retaliation for filing a complaint against an officer. In the event I believe I have been retaliated against for filing this complaint, I understand that I may report such information to Internal Affairs for investigation.”

42(a).

            Not only did Defendant LSP Trooper Scott Lopez ignore the non-retaliation paragraph of the complaint stated in Paragraph 42 regarding the first complaint filed on November 20, 2021 by engaging in his actions of January 6, 2022 in retaliation for that first complaint, but he further aided and abetted his son, Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez, into filing a baseless and false complaint with the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office in direct retaliation to the second complaint filed on January 24, 2022.

43.

            Just as Defendant LSP Trooper Scott Michael Lopez ignored the plainly-written language of the complaint form specifying that he could not retaliate against Petitioner for filing the first complaint of November 19, 2021, Defendant LSP Trooper Scott Lopez once again retaliated against Petitioner entailing the second complaint of January 24, 2022.

44.

            Based on the false and defamatory statements made by both Defendant LSP Trooper Scott Michael Lopez and Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez, Petitioner had an arrest warrant issued against him; furthermore, Petitioner was in fact arrested thus causing Petitioner to be further defamed by the actions of Defendant LSP Trooper Scott Michael Lopez and his son, Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez.

45.

            On April 25, 2022 at approximately 4:30 p.m., Petitioner was making a routine trip in his truck and nearing his 33-acre property located at 1675 Duchamp Road in Broussard, Louisiana.  The truck was empty and had no load of any kind within its bed.

46.

            Petitioner noticed a heavily-tinted (likely exceeding the legal limit for such tenting) vehicle actively trailing Petitioner’s truck.

47.

            Believing that his truck must be dragging a garbage can or be having some other problem, Petitioner pulled his truck over to examine if there was a problem.

48.

            The driver of the vehicle rolled down his window and retrieved a cell phone from his dashboard which had obviously been utilized to videotape Petitioner traveling along Duchamp Road.

49.

            Petitioner noticed the driver of the truck removing the cell phone from his dashboard and commencing to point the cell phone toward him and obviously continuing to videotape Petitioner.

50.

            Petitioner then recognized the driver of the vehicle as Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez, who is the 18-year-old son of Defendant LSP Trooper Scott Lopez.

51.

            Petitioner then inquired of Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez, “You need some help, buddy?”

52.

            Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez then stated, “No.  I’m fine.”

53.

            Petitioner then returned to his truck and drove the short distance to his 33-acre property located at 1675 Duchamp Road, Broussard, Louisiana, which is a very short distance from Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez and Defendant LSP Trooper Scott Lopez’s residence.

54.

            Believing that the actions of Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez were a little strange, Petitioner then obtained his own cell phone to record Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez once he had passed Defendant’s property on Duchamp Road.

55.

            Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez proceeded to turn his vehicle around in a neighbor’s yard a few houses down from Petitioner’s Property.

 

56.

 

Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez then proceeded to pass directly in front of Petitioner, who was standing on his property beside the road.

57.

            Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez then spread two of his fingers and made a hand signal to Petitioner which was unfamiliar to him.

58.

            Petitioner has since learned that children and young adults make that hand signal to communicate the word “loser” to the individual to whom the hand signal is directed.

59.

            Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez then stated to Petitioner as he slowly drove his vehicle past Petitioner, “I hope you got a good picture of me.”  Petitioner videotaped the episode from the point of Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez turning around in the neighbor’s driveway and proceeding back toward Petitioner and him making the statement in this paragraph and directing the hand signal at Petitioner referenced in Paragraph 57 above.

60.

            Petitioner was then notified by the St. Martin Parish Sheriff that a complaint had been filed against Petitioner, with said complaint entailing a “voluntary statement” from Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez together with the video supplied by Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez.

61.

            St. Martin Parish Deputy Sheriff Baily Myles Romero, who is himself a 24-year-old Deputy and who, upon information and belief, is neighbors with Defendant Trooper Scott Michael Lopez and Defendant’s 18-year-old son, Benjamin Cole Lopez and who, upon information and belief, resides at 1291 Duchamp Road, Broussard, Louisiana, executed a Sworn Affidavit for Petitioner’s arrest.  In his sworn affidavit, Romero made the following statements:

“On April 25, 2022, at approximately 1634 hours, I, Deputy Baily Romero employed with St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office, Patrol Division, responded to a disturbance, at the address of 1734 Duchamp Road.  Contact was made with complainant Benjamin Lopez, who stated he was involved in a disturbance with Billy Broussard.  Lopez stated the nearby community is partaking in a “civil suit” against Billy in reference to him dumping and operating a business on his property.  Lopez stated a common practice of his, is to record Billy driving his work truck when he is driving it on Duchamp Road.  Lopez stated he saw Broussard coming down the road in the truck at which point he parked his vehicle off of the roadway and recorded Broussard passing by from the inside of his vehicle.  Lopez stated he then entered the roadway, behind Broussard, continuing his commute; At which point Broussard stopped his truck in the roadway, blocking one lane of travel.  Lopez stated Broussard placed his truck in park, exited the driver’s seat, and approached his vehicle, asking “you got a problem?”  Lopez stated no and Broussard walked back to his truck and then pulled into his property feet down the roadway.  Lopez provided a written voluntary statement and wished to pursue charges……

I am hereby requesting that this warrant be approved, for the arrest of Billy Broussard, for the violation of L. A. R. S. 14:100.1 Obstructing a Public Passage.

I hereby certify under oath the information contained herein to be true and correct, to the best of my knowledge, under penalties of perjury.

 

62.

 

Deputy Romero, in communications with Petitioner, indicated that Defendants LSP Trooper Scott Lopez and his 18-year-old son, Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez, sought for the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office to arrest Petitioner for “simple assault.”

63.

            Deputy Romero indicated that Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez stated to him that he “felt threatened” when Petitioner exited his vehicle, which Petitioner did only as a result of Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez following his vehicle at an unsafe and inadequate distance, thus prompting Petitioner to believe something must be wrong such as Petitioner dragging a garbage can or some other item.

64.

            When Petitioner contacted Deputy Romero to obtain an update on the status of developments, he was informed that Deputy Romero was bypassing the District Attorney’s Office and submitting the Application for Arrest Warrant directly to a Judge at 16th Judicial District Court.

65.

            Deputy Romero indicated that the Application for Arrest Warrant was submitted to 16th JDC Judge Lewis Pittman; however, Judge Pittman declined to sign the Arrest Warrant Application.

66.

            When Judge Pittman declined to sign and approve the Application for Arrest Warrant, Deputy Romero indicated to Petitioner that the Application would be resubmitted but this time to Judge Suzanne deMahy.

 

67.

            Judge deMahy approved the Application for Arrest Warrant within minutes of it being submitted to her for approval, and the Arrest Warrant was approved and issued on May 9, 2022 at 9:04 p.m.

68.

            Public records requests were submitted to the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s  Office by video blogger Robert Burns of Sound Off Louisiana on May 13, 2022 seeking the following documents and/or media:

  1. All complaints filed against Billy Broussard from January 1, 2020 through May 13, 2020;
  2. Incident reports responsive to item A) above;
  3. Sworn affidavits to include but not be limited to any sworn affidavit executed by Benjamin Cole Lopez, application(s) for arrest warrants, executed arrest warrant(s), and any citations issued;
  4. Documentation for any traffic violation(s) in which an arrest warrant application was sent directly to the judge for the period of January 1, 2019 through the current date; [Burns followed that request up with a notation that item (D) is intended to include any citizen and not be limited to Billy Broussard].

 

69.

            Civil Process Clerk at the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office, Karen Berthelot, has been in regular communication with video blogger Robert Burns regarding the status of his public records request.  Here are her latest communications sent to Mr. Burns via email:

On May 27, 2022, at 7:16 AM, Karen Berthelot <[email protected]> wrote:

 

Good morning,

 

I’m still waiting on one video, once that is received it has to be approved by our Chief Legal Counsel.  Once approved an invoice will be made and we will notify you. Payment is required before we release the files.

 

With Kindest Regards,

 

Karen

 

On May 25, 2022, at 7:11 AM, Karen Berthelot <[email protected]> wrote:

 

Good morning Mr. Burns,

 

I have the records pulled and printed, I am now waiting on the videos from our patrol office.  I was advised on yesterday, that those were being done, so hopefully I’ll have everything ready for you by the end of this week.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

 

Sincerely,

 

Karen Berthelot

 

70.

             In an abundance of caution entailing Prescription, Petitioner is proceeding forward with filing this Cause of Action against Defendants and will amend and/or supplement it at a later date with the requested documents and media files from the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office.

71.

            The allegations made in the report of Deputy Romero on the part of Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez  are false and defamatory per se.

72.

            Upon information and belief, Defendant LSP Trooper Scott Michael Lopez leaned heavily on St. Martin Parish Sheriff Deputy Baily Myles Romero both as a fellow law-enforcement officer and a neighbor residing on the same street as Defendant LSP Trooper Scott Michael Lopez to document the false and defamatory statements made in Romero’s affidavit on the part of Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez’s “voluntary statement.”  Further, upon information and belief, that action by Defendant LSP Trooper Scott Michael Lopez was engaged in actual malice and with the sole intent of effectuating a baseless and groundless Arrest Warrant against Petitioner.

73.

            Petitioner submits that no one who feels “threatened” would turn a vehicle around, drive it directly back toward the alleged person having made him feel “threatened,” and taunt that individual by saying, “I hope you got a good picture of me.”

74.

            When Petitioner asked Deputy Romero whether the video supplied by Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez depicted Petitioner causing or uttering any words and/or engaging in any action to justify a claim of “simple assault,” for which a separate application for Arrest Warrant was applied for but went unsigned by any judge, Romero responded, “That part of the video was missing.”

75.

            Defendant Benjamin Cole Lopez also made defamatory commentary about Petitioner at the January 6, 2022 St. Martin Parish Planning and Zoning meeting to include, but not be limited to, falsely referencing Petitioner’s property as a “dump,” accusing Petitioner of, “already not following the restrictions on the property that apply,” and that Petitioner is “storing and selling hay” from Petitioner’s property.

76.

            Petitioner will demonstrate at trial that Defendants LSP Trooper Scott Michael Lopez and Benjamin Cole Lopez have engaged in a systematic campaign entailing false and defamatory statements made against Petitioner; furthermore, these false and defamatory statements have been made with actual malice toward Petitioner for Petitioner having filed two complaints with Defendant LSP Trooper Scott’s Michael Lopez’s employer, the Internal Affairs Division of Louisiana State Police.

77.

            In making their false and defamatory statements about Petitioner, Defendants LSP Trooper Scott Michael Lopez and Benjamin Cole Lopez have inflicted significant harm to Petitioner’s reputation, good name, and without question have caused him significant added expense to defend against false and defamatory accusations, with Defendant LSP Trooper Scott Michael Lopez, in particular, taking matters beyond the pale and manufacturing false “evidence” against Petitioner in the form of a “purple truck” that he knew had never been on Petitioner’s property but was instead owned by a friend of his, Arthur Trahan, and that Trahan was directly related to his prior and/or current supervisor LSP Trooper John Trahan.  Defendant LSP Trooper Lopez falsely represented to the St. Martin Parish Planning and Zoning Commission that Petitioner had charged the owner of that truck to offload vegetative debris onto his property when he knew what he was stating to the Commission Members was blatantly false!

78.

            Petitioner is entitled to and does in fact seek a trial by jury since the amount in controversy exceeds $10,000.

Regarding Broussard’s reference to our public records request in paragraphs 68-69 above (and again, we can’t praise Ms. Berthelot and Ms. Laperouse enough for their dedication on providing the requested material), we are now prepared to present much of the material deemed responsive to our public records request.

First, let’s present the video wherein our viewers get an opportunity to literally have a seat in the Lopez living room and hear the complaint lodged against Broussard.  Both Scott Lopez and SMP Sheriff Deputy Baily Romero make considerable commentary about their respective employers and specific individuals as a means to sort of kill time while Benjamin executes  this voluntary statement at the request of SMP Sheriff Deputy Baily Romero.  Ah, heck, we think that’s worthy of full-blown display, so here it is!:

So, there’s Benjamin Lopez alleging that he is a “victim” of “simple assault” and stating that he wishes to “pursue charges” against Billy Broussard!  Additionally, obviously Romero can’t read (or else doesn’t know what the word “print” means)!

Now, let’s just take some time to enjoy a little visit in the Lopez living room and dining room and watch Trooper Scott Lopez and Deputy Romero make those interesting comments about their respective employers and specific co-workers, shall we?:

April 25, 2022:  SMP Sheriff Deputy Baily Romero responds to a “disturbance” entailing Billy Broussard and shoots the breeze with LSP Trooper Scott Lopez in the Lopez living room and dining room while Lopez’s son, Benjamin Cole, executes a voluntarily statement claiming to be the victim of “simple assault” by Broussard.

Since we think the above video speaks for itself, we’re just going to let our subscribers and site visitors watch and make their own conclusions.

The only commentary we’re going to make is to draw viewers’ attention to the following statement by Benjamin Lopez in his “voluntary statement” above:

I felt threatened and scared of what he was going to do to me.

WOW!  Pretty strong words, no?

We’ll simply ask how credible Benjamin Lopez’s statement is given the following video taken by Broussard as Benjamin Lopez made his return trip home (wherein he says in the video above he just, “like <waving motion> and I went home”) entailing him feeling “threatened?”  Here’s the video:

Benjamin Lopez makes his return trip home immediately after allegedly being “threatened” by farmer Billy Broussard on April 25, 2022.

Looks pretty jovial to us:  smiling, rolling down window, giving supposed “young folks” hand signal for “loser,” and uttering, “Hope you got a good picture.”  We’d say the above preview photo for the video does indeed constitute a “good picture,” especially for annihilating Benjamin Lopez’s credibility on the witness stand when this matter goes up for trial.

We will also point out that Broussard has inquired of SMP Sheriff Deputy Romero if he supplied that video into the file for its consideration in evaluating any claim by Benjamin Lopez that he had been the victim of “simple assault.”  Romero never indicated any such video was ever placed into evidence entailing the incident of  that day.

Okay.  Now let’s provide the video of Broussard’s May 10, 2022 arrest based upon Benjamin Cole Lopez’s voluntary statement and associated video that he supplied with that statement (easily texted to Baily Romero right there on the spot!):

May 10, 2022:  SMP Sheriff Deputy Nahia Simon effectuates the arrest of Billy Broussard and responds to any questions he has.

Now, we want to emphasize one thing.  Broussard’s arrest is based SOLELY on the video provided by Benjamin Cole Lopez, and nobody even challenges that fact in any way.  Romero was not present for any alleged criminal conduct by Broussard, and he fully admits that he based his own sworn affidavit (under penalty of perjury) based on the video Benjamin Cole Lopez supplied.  In the video above entailing Lopez and his father indicating all the charges they want lodged against Broussard, Romero has Benjamin Cole Lopez, beginning at the 8:10 mark of the video, simply text him the videos, and Benjamin Cole happily obliges.

That being the case, one would think that making a public records request for that simple little video would cause no heartburn, right?  Well, with Ms. Berthelot and Ms. Laperouse, it didn’t.  In fact, Broussard was on the phone with Ms. Laperouse and Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns when Ms. Laperouse asked Broussard to merely text Romero and ask him to text the video to Broussard as that would, “save all of us time and effort since it’s that easy for it to be sent.”

Makes sense, no?  Well, here’s the reaction Broussard got from Romero when he made that simple request as instructed by Ms. Laperouse:

Seems Romero is sort of pre-occupied about the nature of the feature we may publish entailing his actions, no?  We’ll point out regarding his concerns that we are providing EVRYTHING we have regarding the incident.  It is Romero, NOT us, who is withholding material.  When we ultimately get that crucial video, we’ll certainly update this feature; however, we feel that 39 DAYS is more than enough time to have waited on a video for which the sending is as simple as merely sending a text, no?  We sure hope that video has not been deleted, especially since it should reside on two phones:  Romero’s and Benjamin Lopez’s!  At any rate, Romero  certainly wasn’t willing to do as Ms. Laperouse suggested to make life easier on anyone.

Let’s emphasize that we have routinely contacted the SMP Sheriff’s Office for that video upon which the ENTIRE “case” against Broussard hinges.  Nevertheless, as we stated above, as of the date of this publication, for whatever reason (though certainly not the fault of Ms. Berthelot or Ms. Laperouse), we continue to be without being able to provide to our audience that one video which was so easily texted from Benjamin Cole Lopez to SMP Deputy Baily Romero.

It’s pretty obvious that Simon is sort of stunned at what she’s having to process in the above video entailing Broussard’s arrest.  Well, she’s not the only one!  Once we obtained video of Romero meeting with Trooper Lopez and his son and provided retired law-enforcement officers the opportunity to view it, they responded, “There is no way they issued an arrest warrant!  I would have to see it to believe it.”

Well, as the old saying goes, “Seeing IS believing,” so here is all of Billy Broussard’s arrest documentation.  As stated in his petition, Romero opted to bypass the DA and submit the application directly to a judge.  The first judge he submitted it to, Judge Pitman, declined to approve the application, and we believe he was VERY wise to do so!  Consequently, Romero submitted it a to a second judge, this time being Judge Suzanne deMahy, who is the same Judge who gave SMPG the resounding court victory obtained against Broussard on May 2, 2022.

deMahy’s signing of that arrest warrant application, at least in our minds, calls into question her objectivity on any matter entailing Broussard, and that certainly includes the civil litigation which remains pending before her regarding any Permanent Injunction on Broussard’s property.  Because so many people who viewed the video [we uploaded it to a YouTube account for which we have only two subscribers; nevertheless, it managed to get a whopping 80 views before we removed it from that YouTube account just prior to publishing this feature (other videos associated with this feature also got a collective 61 views)], simply refused to believe that ANY judge signed an arrest warrant in these circumstances, we are going to present the approved arrest warrant documentation for the world to see at this time:

All we can say is “WOW!”  We’ve seen some bizarre acts by judges but, for us, this one ABSOLUTELY takes the cake!  Also, we were on the phone with Broussard as Romero informed Broussard that Judge Pitman had declined to sign the arrest warrant.  Romero then said that he was submitting it to Judge deMahy even as they spoke and and/or texted.  deMahy signed the arrest warrant within five minutes and, as can easily be seen, deemed the arrest of Broussard to be so pressing that it was signed at 9:04 p.m.!

Okay, as Broussard demonstrates in his lawsuit, we made public records requests for videos for all arrests made by SMP Sheriff Becket Breaux’s Office from January 1, 2019 to the date of our request for which arrest warrant applications were submitted directly to the judge for approval.  There were only two, both of which entailed drug drug possession.

Let’s take a look at one of the video files that the SMP Sheriff’s Office said they had of an arrest from January 1, 2019 forward wherein the arrest warrant application was submitted directly to the judge rather than going through the District Attorney.  That would entail a gentleman named Elliot Taylor, and there’s that video:

10/3/21 interaction of SMP Deputy Gavin Milby with Elliot Taylor for speeding and the discovery of drugs (which later totaled 150+ grams) upon the search of his vehicle.  CLICK HERE for Taylor’s arrest documentation (should be interesting contrast with Broussard’s!!).

Now, as Broussard noted in his litigation against Scott Lopez and Benjamin Cole Lopez, we also requested and received ALL complaints filed against Billy Broussard from January 1, 2019 to present.  We welcome anyone to review those complaints if anyone is so inclined.

We also requested documentation for other SMP Sheriff arrestees for which no video is available wherein an arrest warrant was submitted directly to the judge rather than to the DA.  Everyone is welcome to peruse that documentation by clicking here, and we’re going to provide the following table to incorporate ALL arrestees from January 1, 2019 to the date of our request, along with their charges, including Broussard:

Name and Date of ArresteeCharges
Tommy Celestine, February 20, 20192:415 -OPERATING VEHICLE WHILE LICENSE IS SUSPENDED
Lawrence Abraham, March 1, 202132:81 -FOLLOWING TO (sic) CLOSE 32:232 -TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNALS-RED LIGHT, ETC 14:99 -RECKLESS OPERATION OF A VEHICLE
14: 108 -RESISTING AN OFFICER
Richard Daigle, May 24, 202140:9678 -POSSESSION SCHEDULE II NARCOTICS
40:9688 -POSSESSION OF SCHEDULE Ill NARCOTICS(STIMUIANTS)
32:303 -HEAD LAMPS ON MOTOR VEHICLES, MOTORCYCLES AND MOTO
40:1060:13 - SALE, DISTRIBUTION, OR POSSESSION OF LEGEND DRUG.
Elliot Taylor, October 3, 2021 (video above).40:966A1 -POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE SCHED 1
40:1023C -PROHIBITED ACTS POSS OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA
32:61 -SPEEDING
Dalton Boudreaux, January 1, 2022. Click Here for Mr. Boudreaux's arrest documentation.32:329 -BICYCLES; FRONT LAMPS; SIDE AND REAR REFLECTORS 40:967C -POSSESSION SCHEDULE II NARCOTICS
14:130.1 -OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE/EVIDENCE TAMPERING
Brendal Landry, January 31, 202240:966A1 -POSSESSION WITH INTENT T0 DISTRIBUTE SCHED 1
47:521 -IMPROPER DISPLAY OF TEMPORARY LICENSE PLATE
40:1023C -PROHIBITED ACTS POSS OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA 47:536.8 -SWITCHED PLATES
Damontrai Mason, February 18, 2022.32:79 -IMPROPER LANE USAGE
32: 123 -IGNORING STOP SIGN
40:9668 -POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA W/INTENT T0 DISTRIBUTE
40: 1023C -PROHIBITED ACTS POSS 0F DRUG PARAPHERNALIA
Gerald Auguillard, April 11, 202232:197 -RIDING ON ROADWAYS AND BICYCLE PATHS
40:967C -POSSESSION SCHEDULE II NARCOTICS
40:966C SCHEDULE I NARCOTICS (ALL OTHER)
Billy Broussard, May 10, 202214: 100.1 -OBSTRUCTION PUBLIC PASSAGES

Broussard appears to be in some really select company, no?

Having felt he’d waited plenty long enough on the video taken by Benjamin Lopez to be provided to him, on July 6, 2022, Broussard notified LSP Internal Affairs of the fact he firmly believes he has been retaliated against for his filing of the two (2) complaints against Lopez referenced above.  According to Broussard, the response he got from a Lieutenant Douglas is that, “You’re going to have to wait until the criminal matter entailing the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office plays out.  We can’t get in the middle of a criminal investigation and prosecution.”

So, given what Lieutenant Douglas reported to Broussard, he (Broussard) contacted 16th JDC District Attorney Bo Duhe’s Office.  Once he was routed to a representative, she asked Broussard for his DOB so that she could pull him up in the system.  Her next words to Broussard (and all phone calls were recorded) were:  “I’ve got good news!  It looks like you’re eligible for the Pre-Trial Diversion Program!”

Broussard immediately responded in a very professional manner:  “I have no interest whatsoever in any Pre-Trial Diversion program.  I want my case tried!”

The representative indicated that she would need to transfer him to a gentleman we believe had the first name of “David.”  Once Broussard had him on the line, “David” said that they’d already started processing the paperwork to send out to Broussard to enroll him in the Pre-Trial Diversion Program.  Once Broussard made it clear he had no interest whatsoever in the program and that the DA would simply need to try this case, “David” asked Broussard to cover just what all happened in this matter.

Broussard patiently told “David” what is relayed above, to which “David” said, “Well, I need to ask one thing,” and, once Broussard told him to feel free to ask, “David” asked, “I need to know why you were arrested?”

Broussard responded, “I just told you why I was arrested!”  “David’s” response, once he could compose himself from laughter:  “Well, nothing you have stated justified an arrest warrant being issued!”  Broussard has that statement on a recorder!

“David” then informed Broussard that he would need to contact Ms. Halee Maturin, Assistant DA charged with prosecuting misdemeanors.  Broussard indicated that he would and then asked, “Can you give me an idea when my court date will be?”  “David” responded, “Well, that’s always the million-dollar question everybody wants to know.  I can’t answer that, but I can tell you it won’t be anytime soon.”

Broussard then contacted Maturin’s office and spoke with her assistant and requested that Maturin call him back.  As of this publication being released, Broussard indicated that he’d gotten no such return phone call.

Finally, we felt SMP Sheriff Becket Breaux should be afforded the opportunity to comment on this feature, and so we reached out to his office for comment and/or video at 9:44 on Monday, July 11, 2022.  After all, Breaux certainly wasn’t camera shy entailing his office’s potential CALEA  certification.  Apparently, he wasn’t as enthused at the prospect of speaking with us about the Billy Broussard arrest as we received no return phone call back from his office prior to release of this feature six hours after we contacted Breaux’s office.

Finally, here are Scott Lopez and Benjamin Cole Lopez’s answers to the suit filed through their legal counsel, Eric Haik.

We guess everyone has to sort of acknowledge LSP Trooper Scott Lopez as being a man of his word.  After all, on June 14, 2021, he allegedly told Broussard’s driver that he, “better not go down my road again if you know what’s good for you.”  We feel certain that admonition was equally applicable for Broussard himself.  Broussard had the nerve to drive down the road again on April 25, 2022, and Lopez’s son, Benjamin Cole, apparently having been implicitly deputized by Lopez, trailed Broussard (with Broussard claiming that tailing was far too close for safe operation of a vehicle, prompting Broussard to get out to ensure he wasn’t dragging a garbage can or anything) and the next thing he knew, Broussard had been taught a lesson about driving down “Lopez’s Road” by being arrested by St. Martin Parish Sheriff Becket Breaux’s Office!

Okay.  At the outset of this feature, we said we’d supply links for all previous Billy Broussard features entailing his farming operations in St. Martin Parish.  Here they are:

1.  LSP Trooper Lopez allegedly demands Broussard’s driver not go down “my road” again (feature contains and extensive video tour of Broussard’s 33-acre farm).

2.  Cedars obtains court-ordered Temporary Restraining Order shutting down Broussard’s farming operations.

3.  Broussard’s attorney asserts in court filings that Cedars is on “crusade” to “harass” Broussard.

4.  Cedars caves and begs for TRO court hearing to be cancelled and offers major concessions to Broussard to do so.

5.  Sound Off Louisiana’s founder explains how SMPG President Chester Cedars is the “epitome and personification of Louisiana’s hostile reputation toward small businesses.”

7.  Farmer Billy Broussard files second complaint against LSP Trooper Lopez concerning claims of “illegal acts” voiced at public meeting; Sen. Boudreaux commits to confer with LSP Col. Davis on complaint.

8.  SMPG’s Cedars’ “compromise process” emits vile stench of corruption, totalitarianism in deploying Blake Dubroc, his sketchy history notwithstanding.

9.  Has St. Martin Parish President Cedars racked up massive legal fees obstructing minor initiatives like Broussard’s only to open up “Pandora’s box” for yet more legal fees?

10.  St. Martin Parish Council lives up to and even exceeds anticipated dog-and-pony show; votes 7-0 on Broussard’s zoning variance without even specifying what motion is being voted upon!

11.  Even as SMPG dumps 14 loads of debris on Broussard’s property leading up to Council meeting, Sheriff’s Deputies arrive and inform him that they told them Broussard is, “Barred from going on your property.”

12.  St. Martin Parish President Cedars goes for jugular on Broussard, takes aim at LCG alleging improper removal of spoil banks from Vermillion River.

13.  SMPG’s Cedars scores resounding court victory as Broussard TRO extended to Preliminary Injunction; also celebrates Army Corps purportedly indicating permit required for LCG’s spoil bank removals.

14.  Did LSP Trooper Scott Lopez fabricate evidence of a “purple truck” dumping and present that fabrication to SMPG’s Planning and Zoning Commission?

15.  Louisiana State Police sustains Broussard’s allegations against Trooper Scott Lopez of failing to activate body-worn camera (6/14/21) and Conduct Unbecoming a State Trooper (1/6/22)

It’s somewhat hard to believe that it has only been just over a year since this whole soap opera saga began!  We’ll be sure to update our subscribers and casual site visitors to further developments in either SMPG v. Billy Broussard or Billy Broussard v. Scott Lopez and Benjamin Cole Lopez!

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.

Will criminal defense attorneys have field days with Brady Motions on LSP Troopers Starling, Yetman, Lowe, Jinks, Hern, Rowell, Jennings, Quintero, Blackburn and many others, thus enabling alleged perpetrators to go free?

LSP Trooper Garrett Yetman, elected President of LSP Cadet Class 99 and recently arrested for alleged domestic violence, is identified as the second most culpable member of that Cadet Class to engage in a massive across-the-board cheating scandal wherein ALL cadets of the class were deemed to have cheated their ways through the LSP Training Academy.

An important weapon available to any criminal defense attorney is the filing of a Brady Motion.  In essence, it obligates the prosecuting attorney to supply to the defense any evidence which may tend to exonerate his client.  From the previous link:

A Brady Motion is a type of motion filed by a defendant in a case requesting evidence relating to a material witness that may be beneficial for its case.

The term “Brady” comes from the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland where the Supreme Court indicated that there is a violation of due process when the prosecutor suppresses evidence favorable to the defendant having requested it (Brady rule).

In light of the Brady case, prosecutors are required to disclose any evidence, material, or information available to them or in their possession allowing the defendant to prove his or her innocence by:

  • Impeaching the credibility of the prosecutor’s witnesses
  • Exculpate the accused in any other way

Criminal defense attorneys are likely to have field days directly attacking the credibility of LSP Troopers who serve as prosecution witnesses when those defense attorneys can demonstrate the Troopers were engaged in a massive across-the-board cheating scandal entailing Cadet Class 99 (and, from what key sources with integral knowledge of the matter tell us, the prior four LSP Cadet Classes as well).  In fact, as initial investigations transpired by the Training Academy staff, strong evidence surfaced that the previous four Cadet Academy classes, which were known to be “legacy classes,” also entailed massive cheating.

 A “legacy class” is one defined to have among its enrollment the offspring of the upper brass of LSP and would include names like Jacob Brown, son of former LSP Chief of Staff under Col. Kevin Reeves, Robert Brown; Kaleb Reeves, son of former LSP Col. Kevin Reeves; and others.  Once the Training Academy staff uncovered facts indicating massive cheating in Cadet Class 99 and those previous legacy classes, in typical LSP fashion, the investigation was transferred away from the Training Academy staff and to Internal Affairs (IA).  It was at that point that a complete cover-up of the incident is alleged to have transpired, and that cover-up even overlapped to alleged cover-ups by the same IA top brass (with special emphasis on newly-installed LSP Chief of Staff Chevez Cammon) entailing concealing the true nature of Ronald Greene’s arrest and in-custody death.

Suffice to say that any LSP Trooper actively involved in the cheating scandal will likely have his credibility ripped to shreds when the defense attorney places him on the witness stand and questions him about his role in the cheating scandal.  That, in turn, depending on how critical the Trooper is to the prosecuting attorney’s criminal case against the defendant, may likely cause the defendant to walk away Scott Free.

We are going to, over a protracted period, gradually pull the skin back from the onion and reveal the true depth of both the cheating scandal and the ensuing cover-up hatched within LSP’s IA Division with IA’s goal of keeping the cheating scandal away from public purview, and the subterfuge disseminated to the public on the cheating scandal.  Interestingly enough, sources with integral knowledge of both matters, indicate to us that LSP IA’s subterfuge on the cheating scandal occurred simultaneous to and overlapped with its cover-up efforts entailing the true nature of the in-custody death of Ronald Greene.

In this Installment One, we’ll take a look at a few of the major players at the Cadet level entailing the cheating scandal and prepare our audience for even more exposure regarding the extensive cover-up efforts of the cheating scandal and the role of LSP top brass and key individual Troop supervisors thereof to be outlined in future installments.

About six weeks ago, we were provided with this November 18, 2019 internal memorandum from LSP Lieutenant David Ryerson to former LSP Captain Mark Richards and associated email chain thereof.  It names many of the members of LSP Cadet Class 99 and their alleged culpability in the massive cheating scandal.  Let’s begin to itemize the magnitude of the scandal and then provide individual profiles for some of the Cadets and active Troopers and outline their alleged roles in the cheating scandal.  We’ll also include other relevant information we’ve been able to obtain through extensive interviews with multiple individuals with direct first-hand knowledge of the cheating scandal.

First, let’s take a look at the sheer magnitude of the cheating scandal.  From the preceding linked November 18, 2019 document and ensuing emails which it generated:

From: David Ryerson <[email protected]>
Sent: Monday, December 2, 2019 11:10 AM
To: Mark Richards <[email protected]>; Patrick Jackson (DPS) <[email protected]>; Clay Reavis
<[email protected]>
Subject: Class 99 Cheating Recovery Recommendation

As we are all aware, the cadets in Class 99 participated in in widespread cheating. Several cadets had a copy of
our Final Exam, as well as copies of all other exams. Because it is clear that they had the stolen material from the start, there is no doubt that many of them simply paid little attention during class. In fact, when looking at their MDTs, we saw that some spent a lot of their classroom time chatting with family members online. I question how much these cadets actually learned during this time.

Wow!  Pretty damning, no? So, not only did these Cadets have the final exam in their possession “from the start,” but moreover having such possession of the final exam from the outset permitted them to essentially sleep walk through their classes! The effects of this cheating upon the public at large has been profound as we’ll gradually demonstrate in future installments. First, however, let’s take a look at individual Cadets going in reverse order from those identified as being most culpable to least. As we itemize this list, however, bear in mind that the Training Academy staff was permitted to investigate the scandal only for a week before LSP top brass ordered the whole matter transferred to IA where the cover-up efforts began in earnest and were quite extensive. Now let’s begin the itemization:

Cadet Michael Starling (no photo available):

• We located an online chat with his wife that says. “Just took the test.. it was the same one I got from [fellow Cadet and Class 99 President Garrett] Yetman. Thank God he place (sic) them guys around me .. they got a bunch of people freaking out.”

He appears to be referencing the “Domestic & Family Matters” exam on 09/27/2019. He received an 83.37% on the exam.

We can only assume Starling missed about one question in six “just to make it look good.”  Here is a screenshot from the online chat referenced above and the references to Starling:

All right.  Let’s proceed on to the Cadet elected Class President by his peers.  We can only assume when you provide your classmates with the final exam and with disgraced former LSP Chief of Staff Doug Cain stating, “I’m so thankful to God for introducing Garrett Yetman into my life,” that you’ll be pretty darn popular among this motley crew of frauds:

Cadet Garrett Yetman:

• See the above entry for Cadet Starling, who implicates Yetman,

Now, we want to make darn sure our audience gets a crystal-clear vision of this Yetman character, so here’s a little extra guidance as well as some meaningful follow-up on just whom LSP deems worthy of patrolling our Interstates and upon whom disgraced former LSP Chief of Staff Doug Cain would heap such tremendous praise, adoration, and seemingly bizarre words.  Ah, heck!  Let’s take a closer look even within this feature (compliments of the fine folks at WAFB News):

WAFB News feature on LSP Troope Garrett Yetman’s bond after arrest being set at $350,000 and a fellow LSP Trooper indicating he “fears for his life,” if Yetman is released from jail.

Now, as we’ve pointed out before, Ms. Belinda Parker-Brown has a real issue with LSP Troopers such as Yetman obtaining a lengthy “taxpayer-funded vacation” while LSP’s IA Division sorts out alleged actions of someone like Yetman, but as previously demonstrated, Yetman had little difficulty (actually none) getting his “taxpayer-funded vacation” while this all sorts out.  As we’ve stated many times, this is why LSP is badly broken.

What needs to transpire is that, just as is the case in the private sector, when a trooper engages in such behavior, termination is immediate with no recourse whatsoever.

What that would mean is abolishing the Louisiana State Police Commission and eliminating civil service protection completely for LSP Troopers.  That would make the agency just like local Sheriff offices across this state.  That, in turn, would free up Troopers and their associations to make tons of political contributions (for which they’re suing to engage anyway), and cause the agency to be much more accountable to the public just like local Sheriffs.  [Sidebar:  A third EBRP Deputy was also immediately fired for alleged payroll improprieties.]

Okay.  On to the next Cadet implicated in the cheating scandal:

Cadet Christopher Sink (no photo available):

• Has all of the POST Lesson Plans (Instructor versions).
• Has “POST Review” file emailed from Tpr. Jake Voisine. This appears to be a copy of the POST Exam. This came from Tpr. Max Verrett.
• Has “Specialized Activities Review 021518” file emailed to him by Obed Marte.  This appears to be a re-created Specialized Activities exam.
• He has so much information that was passed around during Cadet Class 97 that it’s hard to even track.
• Admitted that he shared all of his old notes (including tests) with who wanted it.
• Said, “Sir, I realize I might get fired for this,”
• Admitted his classmates copied exams with a snipping or Control C during online exam.

It’s interesting that then-Cadet Sink would say, “Sir, I realize I may get fired for this.”  Why?  Because that is what a respectable State Police force should and would do the same way Georgia State Police did in firing the ENTIRE Cadet class for a cheating incident transpiring almost simultaneously with LSP’s cheating scandal.  Interestingly enough, Georgia State Police handled their cheating scandal by firing ALL of the cadets even though their cheating scandal appears far, far less broad and deep as LSPs.

[Editor’s Note & UPDATE (July 6, 2022 @ 5:03 p.m.)]:  

We were contacted by one of our key sources after initial publication of this feature and notified that Cadet Christopher Sink actually was fired as a result of his role in the cheating scandal.  Reportedly, this was his third attempt to complete the LSP Academy with him having flunked out the two prior times.  We were informed that there, “were only two Cadets who were fired and not brought back, and Sink is one of the two.”

In fact, one member of the LSP Training Academy reportedly went to LSP’s upper brass and placed the just-linked article right in front of them and said, “THIS is how you handle a widespread cheating scandal!”

The upper brass’s response?:  “Well, that’s not the way we’ll be handling it.”  Of course not!  Rather than restoring even a modicum of respectability to the badly-shattered image of LSP, the upper brass would of course be perfectly content to just further contaminate the entire LSP force!  It makes perfect sense for the gaggle of goons operating, managing and overseeing an agency that is nothing short of a criminal enterprise, no?

Here is a screenshot applicable for Sink:

But, of course, he has to return to class to ensure other Cadets don’t go without a final exam! Given the hell-bent nature of IA (along with, and in particularly with disgraced former Chief of Staff Doug Cain, and other top brass) to completely alter the narrative of just what all went on at that Academy regarding the cheating when they went public with a January, 2021 press release which could have best been used to line a bird cage, it stands to reason that an alleged cheater must return to class because LSP’s top brass and their immediate underlings were completely and totally indifferent regarding whether a single Cadet legitimately passed the class or the final exam based upon his or her own merit and initiative.

Okay. Onward and upward. Here’s the next LSP Cadet Fraud to graduate the Academy and have a badge slapped on his uniform:

Cadet David Lowe (no photo available):

• Has virtually every LSP Exam: LSP Final Exam, All POST Exams, Taser, and SSGT Photocopy.
• The LSP Final Exam is a printed answer key that can only be generated through the testing system by an instructor. It is very likely that this was picked up from someone’s desk in the Training Academy offices.  This could have been anyone who has passed through including interns, current Troopers, Duty Officers, or
civilian staff.

Again, just not a whole lot we can add except to express stunned disbelief that LSP top brass and IA knew every bit of this and much more, and yet they perpetrated a complete fraud upon the citizens of the State of Louisiana when they turned these fraudsters loose to patrol our highways and furthermore produced a completely false narrative of the nature of the cheating scandal for dissemination to the public and gullible members of the news media to swallow hook, line, and sinker!

Okay.  On the the next fine “graduate” of LSP Cadet Class 99:

Cadet Brandon Jinks (no photo available):

• Photocopy of LSP Final
• Word documents dating to 2014. Every test for every subject.

But, of course, can’t leave any subject out.  One has to make sure he or she has EVERY test for EVERY subject!

Now on the the next one:

Cadet Andrew Hern (no photo available):

• Notes from Trooper Zavier Martin.
• Copy of Elective Exam created in 2018.
• Copy of Traffic Services Exam dating to 2015.
• Derogatory comments from Zavier Martin regarding ST Shannon Simpson.

Sergeant Simpson was one of three troopers assigned away from the Training Academy in the wake of the scandal.  With the inmates obviously being in charge of the asylum (as a result NOT of the Training Academy Staff but rather their superiors who saw to it that this whole sordid scandal was covered up), it’s little wonder Martin felt he could easily get away with making derogatory comments about Simpson.

On to the next one:

 Cadet Nicholas Rowell (no photo available):

• Emailed the current Taser exam to all other cadets. This version of the exam cannot be located online (there are only older versions). It had to have come from a Taser instructor (who could work for any agency).
o All cadets received this email. Many (but not all) saved the files to their desktop.

Well, so much for the integrity of the Taser exam!  Maybe being able to just memorize responses has played a role over the years causing what certainly appears to be a very obvious excessive application of the taser in the Ronald Greene arrest.  After all, it appears the Cadets certainly didn’t have to focus much on learning the techniques and limitations entailing taser guns.

On to the next one:

Cadet Peggy Jennings (no photo available):

• Told Cadet Small by text that she had an answer key, but didn’t want to send it out en masse.

Why not?  It’s not like anyone else is being shy!  So now we have an ability to merely memorize the answer key which may lead to a lack of need to even read the questions on the final examination!  Is LSP a “great” agency comprised of “fantastic men and women” of high integrity as Col. Davis has openly touted in the last few months, or what?  Davis undoubtedly believes every citizen of this state continues to drink the Kool Aid from the picture he keeps pouring it out of!

Time for the next one:

Cadet Tomas Quintero (no photo available):

• Has “legal study material” file. This is what someone remembered was on the test.
• Has email from Cadet Small where she asked, “He got it open?” and he said, “Naw.”
• No Taser files saved.

Obviously, we’re starting to go down the ladder of severity now.  Too bad he apparently wasn’t able to open the file.

Next….

Cadet Brandon Blackburn:

• Has a copy of the Taser Exam saved to his desktop.

We’ll only point out that Blackburn is the son of former long-time LSP Legal Counsel, the late Frank Blackburn.

We’re not going to list the remaining names on the Cadet Class because the memorandum indicates little to no evidence of cheating materials being present during the ONE-WEEK that the Training Academy staff was afforded the opportunity to investigate.  After that one-week of investigative activities, the entire matter was transferred to LSP’s IA Division wherein our sources inform us that the dual coverups of the Training Academy cheating scandal and the in-custody death of Ronald Greene became top priorities.

The report also highlights active troopers who assisted the Cadets in efforts to cheat on the examinations.  Here are those active troopers identified:

Current Troopers:

In addition to the Class 99 cadets, several current Troopers who assisted with the passing exam information.

Trooper Jake N. Voisine

• February 19, 2018: emailed POST Review” file to his cadet class. This appears to be a copy of the POST Exam.
o Sent to Cadet Sink, who saved it.

Trooper Max Verrett
• March 17, 2018: emailed “review” file to the cadet class. It says, “Didn’t get full questions, just key words and paraphrasing.”

Trooper Adam Wentzel:

• We were told that Wentzel was involved in passing exams to the Troop D cadets.  I believe Lt Marie learned this when he was involved in the initial cadet interviews at Internal Affairs.

Wentzel was far from alone entailing upper brass at Troop D entailing the cheating scandal, but we’ll save that for a future installment.

As we begin to close this Installment One of this special feature on the LSP Training Academy Cheating Scandal (LSPTACS), we’d be remiss if we did not point out the fact that retired LSP Lt. Leon “Bucky” Millet made an extensive public records request in January of 2021 upon him obtaining first-hand information about the true nature of the LSPTACS vs. the horse manure version which Doug Cain and Company published to the public at the same time as Millet’s request.  In fact, Millet intentionally waited until the official horse manure version, which he immediately recognized as being comprised of total manure, was issued by LSP before making his extensive public records request.

Not surprisingly, LSP’s then-Legal Counsel, Faye Morrison, who is now known to be neck deep in the Ronald Greene cover-up and had her own very unique role in the LSPTACS and running interference to actively block the public from ever obtaining the truth about either matter, denied the vast majority of Millet’s requests on one ground or another.

Because Sound Off Louisiana founder, Robert Burns, had his own teeth sunk squarely into the problems in the LSP Air Support Unit at the time of Millet’s investigations on the Training Academy (and we’ll soon have more to report on that ongoing saga at Air Support), Burns made no effort whatsoever to even try to delve into Millet’s efforts on the LSPTACS.  After all, Morrison was busy giving Burns the runaround on his own public records requests on the operations of Air Support, likely because her husband, Mark Morrison, had largely misled the Louisiana State Police Commission into lowering the number of flight hours required for promotions so that the Head of Air Support, Steven Lee, could award such positions to close friends rather than the most qualified applicant.

Needless to say, Millet is very displeased to now know that documents backing up the activities of the LSPTACS were very readily accessible for Morrison to provide to Millet, and that she just chose instead to stonewall him and give him the runaround.  In the end, however, as we gradually expose the magnitude of the LSPTACS, Morrison and other supervisory personnel are only going to look even worse than they already do in the public eye.

As we now prepare to wrap up Installment One of this feature, let us conclude be refreshing everyone on a little history:

===> On April 17, 2019, Reynard Green was arrested for helping himself to a night’s sleep on the sofa at the Governor’s Mansion and engaging in other problematic behavior while there.

===> Nine (9) months later, Gov. Edwards promoted the first African-American female to Captain, Treone Larvadain, to be the Head of Protective Services.  She is the niece of State Rep. Ed Larvadain (D-Alexandria).  In 2018, Larvadain had been promoted to Lieutenant at Internal Affairs.  Hence, she was in IA during the critical weeks after the cheating scandal had been transferred to that Division.

===> According to several key sources without whom this feature would not be possible, Larvadain and Gov. Edwards’ wife, Donna, formed a strong bond and friendship during Larvadain’s tenure overseeing Gov. Edwards’ and his family’s security.

===> On May 19, 2021, Larvadain transferred back to Internal Affairs (coincidentally the very day before AP reporter Jim Mustian released graphic videos of the Ronald Greene arrest and in-custody death) to serve as “Commander of Internal Affairs.”  That fact is demonstrated in the first 20 seconds of this July 8, 2021 audio recording at the LSPC.  Our sources have said that Larvadain was sent to Internal Affairs for the sole purpose of serving as the “eyes and ears” of Gov. Edwards in that Internal Affairs Department and, again, we can’t help but note the incredible timing of Larvadain’s transfer back to Internal Affairs to serve as “Commander.”  Some of the individuals with whom we spoke for this feature indicated to us that working in IA became “quite stressful” with the knowledge of the closeness of Larvadain with Louisiana’s Governor and First Lady, not to mention the fact that Larvadain’s uncle is a State Representative.

===> Larvadain also reportedly served as supervisor over her own daughter, Tiah Larvadain, with the mother-daughter duo obtaining significant notoriety as the first such duo in LSP history.  That arrangement would seem to be a particularly inappropriate working relationship, but we’ve learned with this particular Governor, anything goes!  We can only assume, however, that Gov. Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards have been well-pleased with Larvadain’s performance given that she was recently promoted once again, this time to Major over the Bureau of Investigations.

When Gov. Edwards first occupied the Governor’s Mansion, we saw a number of posts by conservative bloggers and radio hosts entailing how “over his head” Edwards was as Governor with posts like, “Country comes to town,” etc.  We have held a far different view of Edwards and believe he is likely the shrewdest, most politically-savvy occupant the Governor’s Mansion has ever had in our lifetimes.

Why do we say that?  Well, one good reason is that, when you know you have major corruption in multiple areas of LSP, what better way to create a diversion from those problematic areas than to have the mainstream media go goggle-ga-do-ga by creating the media circus over that first African-American mother-daughter duo in LSP history, thus diverting any attention away from the areas and core problems you know you’ll ensure those same folk are responsible for overseeing (e.g. “Commander of Internal Affairs”)?

The only problem with that strategy, if indeed Edwards was smart enough to deploy it (and we firmly believe he was), is that the LSP cancer is now so deadly that it has metastasized to the point that even the greatest of cover-up plans are now all collapsing all around Edwards!

After all, for a Governor who, “Does not lie, CHEAT, steal, nor tolerate those who do,” Edwards, as “LA-One” (i.e. the Commander in Chief of Louisiana State Police, above whom there is no higher authority), sure has “tolerated” a ton of “cheating” as exposed in this feature, no?

Let us conclude this Installment One with a couple of quotes from disgraced former LSP Col. Kevin Reeves, who in a video at the Graduation of Cadet Class 99 said, “This is one of the finest classes of Cadets to ever graduate from the LSP Academy!”  WOW!  Reeves actually said that KNOWING what all has been reported in this feature and far more we expect to report upon in future installments.  If Cadet Class 99 is “one of the finest,” we’d sure hate to see the composition of some of the “bottom of the barrel” Cadet classes!

Also, regarding  Treone Larvadain’s daughter, Tiah Larvadain’s graduating class (Cadet Class 98).  Here’s what Reeves had to say:

“They really buckled down and did what they had to do. They really earned the right to be Louisiana state troopers,” Superintendent Kevin Reeves said.

Our sources tell us the word “earned” just may not be the exact right choice of words for Reeves to have used as they indicate the LSPTACS went back to “at least” the prior four Cadet classes (which would certainly include Cadet Class 98).

Accordingly, Installment Two of the LSPTACS will focus on supervisors’ roles in the cheating scandal and other pertinent facts which seem particularly germane to the heavy cost this scandal has taken on:

#1)  Trooper morale;

#2) financial costs to taxpayers of lawyers having to be hired to defend civil suits filed against Troopers who were recommended never to wear LSP badges in the first place;

#3) the costs of settlements of such cases (with one case in particular having a mind-blowing number being expected to be paid out from what we’re told);

and

#4) the human toll inflicted upon some citizens of this state who have seen their lives turned upside down and forever changed by the actions of some of these so-called “LSP Finest Troopers.”

Of course, our ability to enlighten the public hinges at least to some extent upon LSP not stonewalling our soon-to-come public records requests efforts.

Given all the extreme focus on “protecting LSP Troopers’ right to privacy” of which the agency recently succeeded in defending our public records lawsuit against LSP, our task may be made more difficult.

Nevertheless, just as with the Memorandum and email chain above which was recently just plopped in our laps, we can certainly foresee further “plops” going forward.  Why?  Because many active Troopers are simply fed up with all of  the rank corruption and cover-ups which have plagued LSP for far too long!

We hope everyone enjoyed a nice extended 4th of July weekend holiday, and we trust everyone will look forward to Installment Two of the LSPTACS.  The date of release for that feature is not yet known and will hinge to a great extent on the degree to which LSP desires to continue its stonewalling and cover-up efforts as they’ve certainly earned a patent on engaging in such actions in the last few years.  Regrettably, LSP’s actions in that regard have been very much to the detriment of Louisiana citizens.

In the meantime, however, criminal defense attorneys certainly may want to delve into the role any LSP Trooper who is also a recent LSP Training Academy graduate may have played in the arrest and prosecution of their clients as it appears the credibility of those Troopers may be annihilated once their roles in the LSPTACS are made public in open court!

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