WBRZ (Channel 2 in Baton Rouge)’s Investigative Reporter Chris Nakamoto, on October 28, 2022, airs a “terrible optics” feature in which Louisiana State Police Col. Lamar Davis explains why LSP Trooper Robert Burns (no relation to Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns) was named the head of LSP’s new Compliance Division notwithstanding Burns’ own alleged violations of law regarding accessing LSP’s database for personal purposes entailing his ex-wife and other associates.
As October of 2022 draws to a close, Louisiana State Police (LSP) appears to be a very tattered, battered, and badly-damaged public agency.
We at Sound Off Louisiana continue to be bombarded with calls and emails from male white troopers and former male white troopers after we published this feature entailing trooper concerns of LSP Col. Davis focusing on promoting African Americans and females to their exclusion and the rapidly-mounting evidence that his actions in that regard have in fact caused a mass exodus of white male troopers from LSP which is showing no signs of abating anytime soon.
Some current and former troopers have even told us that Davis has avoided the normal practice of making a phone call to inquire why ANY trooper resigns, and they indicate that the reason for that lack of action on Davis’ part, at least when such resignations transpire with white males, is because, “he simply doesn’t care why they left.”
Meanwhile, as we reported on Sunday, October 23, fired Trooper Carl Cavalier had a Federal court hearing on Thursday, October 27. As everyone should be aware by now, Cavalier’s attorney, Jill Craft, filed motions both with the Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC) and with the Federal Court to withdraw from representing Cavalier before either body. As evidenced by the preceding link, the LSPC wasted little time granting Craft’s Motion.
The Federal Court for the Middle District of Louisiana followed LSPC’s lead when, on Thursday, October 27, 2022, it too granted Craft’s Motion to withdraw as Cavalier’s counsel as well.
That Order was filed the same day as last week’s hearing (October 27, 2022). Additionally, the status of the $200,000 Cavalier settlement offer, which LSP is actively trying to cram down Cavalier’s throat notwithstanding Cavalier’s refusal to accept what Ronald Greene’s mother, Mona Hardin (should any such settlement be offered to his family), has characterized as, “blood money,” was also discussed during that hearing. From the preceding Order:
Counsel for the defendant indicated that should plaintiff reject the agreed upon settlement they intend to file an appropriate motion. To the extent this motion is time sensitive, the motion should seek expedited consideration. Mr. Cavalier was advised that he would be given an opportunity to respond and that any necessary hearing would likely be set at the district judge’s discretion.
The “appropriate Motion” referenced above would be an Order to Enforce Settlement, and LSP Defense Counsel Jennie Pellegrin essentially teletyped LSP’s intent to file such a Motion as fast as possible when, yesterday (October 28, 2022), she filed this request for a transcript of the 10/27/22 hearing.
Meanwhile Cavalier indicated to us that he is pressing the LSPC to move forward with his hearing, and he even indicated that he’d asked at Thursday’s Federal Court hearing whether the Federal Court had any jurisdiction over the LSPC, and Cavalier said the response was, “No. They are their own entity, and we can’t tell them what to do.” Nevertheless, Cavalier states that the LSPC has indicated to him that it will not move forward until there is, “more clarity with your Federal case.”
As a condition of settlement, clearly the language in that settlement would be that Cavalier would be required to relinquish any right to work for LSP again, and that is something that he has indicated to us is, “completely unacceptable” to him.
We also know plenty of folk are likely asking why the $200,000 settlement offer was even made to Cavalier, but we suspect that may be something Attorney General Jeff Landry may be quizzed on as he pursues being Louisiana’s next Governor, and we’re certainly not going to be impolite by speculating on what response Landry may opt to provide should he be presented with that inquiry (and our money says he will be).
Obviously, it goes without saying that the next few weeks entailing LSP and Cavalier should prove quite intriguing to say the least!
Now, beyond white male trooper frustrations and Cavalier, also occurring last week were three (3) great investigative features concerning LSP. Two (2) of those features were by WBRZ (Channel 2 in Baton Rouge)’s Investigative Reporter Chris Nakamoto, and the third was by Fox8 (New Orleans)’s Lee Zurik. Let’s take a look, shall we?
10/28/22: Nakamoto quizzes LSP Col. Lamar Davis on naming LSP Trooper Robert Burns (no relation to Sound Off Louisiana’s Robert Burns) to head LSP’s new Compliance Division despite past alleged illegal acts entailing LSP’s database being used for personal purposes.
Now, last but not least. The long-awaited trial entailing the LSTA suing the LSPC on August 15, 2018 to enable it to make campaign contributions will transpire this upcoming week on November 3, 2022 commencing at 10:00 a.m.
We’ve made no secret of the fact that we believe this will be a full-blown dog-and-pony exercise with the conclusion being that 19th Judicial District Judge Don Johnson will direct both attorneys to draft their ideal judgments. At some point thereafter, Johnson will sign the LSTA’s judgment, and, voila, they’ll have court authority to proceed full-bore with campaign contributions in the upcoming campaign for Governor of Louisiana! Of course, that will be subject to the LSPC appealing and how fast such an appeal may be able to be resolved.
Eight years ago, the LSTA went to great lengths to be able to make such contributions to Gov. John Bel Edwards. Exactly what lengths? Well, the LSTA deployed its then Executive Director, David Young, who “retired” after firing a gun outside LSTA headquarters while chasing down his daughter’s boyfriend. Yes, the same David Young who agreed to illegally funnel campaign cash into Gov. Edwards’ campaign account (along with other politicians) by writing personal checks himself to the campaign and then being reimbursed by the LSTA for those contributions. That’s a practice which former LSPC Member Lloyd Grafton referred to as, “straight up money laundering.”
We often wonder how all those extensive efforts to help ensure an Edwards win has worked out for the LSTA given the chaos that now exists at LSP with Edwards having appointed (our opinion here) three consecutive disasters to head the agency.
We’ll certainly remind Edwards that, on December 8, 2015 (well before he was sworn into office), we warned him that re-appointing Mike Edmonson as LSP Col. was going to blow up in his face.
Interestingly enough, another blogger reported that, upon him specifically asking Edwards during the campaign whether he (Edwards) intended to re-appoint Edmonson, Edwards responded, “I haven’t made a decision on that.” Then, at the celebration blowout on the eve of Edwards being sworn in, Edmonson bragged to the media that Edwards told him, “I never even considered anyone for the position but you!”
That Edwards contradiction alone should have indicated what type of “leadership” Edwards, as “LA-1,” would provide for LSP, and we firmly believe Louisiana history textbooks for future middle school and high school students will reference Edwards as the most disastrous governor Louisiana has ever had when it comes to accountability and ethics at LSP!
Who knows? Those history books may even note the irony of that fact given the all of the “Honor Code” touting Edwards did during the 2015 campaign.
At any rate, we’ll certainly attend the court hearing on Thursday and report on its outcome once that outcome is known. After all, Sound Off Louisiana is the only media outlet we know of to reference the fact that this lawsuit even exists!
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.