Did Gov. Landry fire a shot across the bow in removing Cosmetology Board Chairman Peterman to send signal that its anti-business stands won’t be tolerated during his administration?

Former Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology (LSBC) Chairman Kalli Peterman, whom Gov. Jeff Landry removed from the Board after only two meetings.

In today’s Sound Off Louisiana feature, we explore the possibility that Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry, who no doubt was not happy with us after our portrayal of him has a charlatan and hypocrite  given just what all transpired in the defeat of Representative Lauren Ventrella’s bill to reduce the hours required for a cosmetology license from 1,500 to 1,000, may have fired a shot across the bow in removing the Board’s Chairman, Kalli Peterman, as a demonstration that the Board’s stiff anti-business practices are not going to be tolerated going forward under his administration.

We will point out that, in our hypothetical email from Landry, we merely pointed out a ton of facts that demonstrate that the Cosmetology Board has a past history of being heavily anti business, and we stated that the current set of appointees constituted the most business hostile group we’ve encountered to date.

Naturally, any Board or Commission has a leader, and in the case of the Cosmetology Board, that was Kalli Peterman, General Manager at Aveda.

One may argue little changed since the Board under former Governor John Bel Edwards was headed by Aveda owner Edwin Neill, III.

One of the reasons Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns, who has diligently followed and reported upon the Cosmetology Board for nine years, said he’d prefer to, “have Edwards’ appointees back” is the fact that Neill had shown some signs of at least trying to work with business interests by agreeing last year to reduce the hours required for licensure from 1,500 to 1,200.

Peterman, on the other hand, not only drew a line in the sand about “not one hour” being removed from the 1,500 hour requirement for licensure, but in her first meeting, she openly advocated for a gradual four-fold increase in the licensing fee!

Perhaps Landry decided he’d seen or heard enough because, just prior to the Board’s meeting of today, June 3, 2024, we were informed that, “the Chairman of the Cosmetology Board was informed that she had been terminated from the Board.”  Actually, that was said to more than just Burns and, upon a couple of other members hearing that, one inquired, “Who can do that?”  Burns was only too happy to answer that question in stating that, “each of you serves at the pleasure of the Governor.”

Burns should certainly know as he was fired by then-Gov. Bobby Jindal from the Louisiana Auctioneer Licensing Board (LALB) on September 10, 2010.  That event, and the subsequent attacks Burns endured during the remainder of his auction career (through December 31, 2012) served as the basis for the foundation of this very blog.  Burns had made it a mission to expose the massive corruption within the Louisiana Auction industry, and, at this point, virtually nobody would even remotely question just how corrupt that industry is.  Burns has been unapologetic in emphatically stating that he wears Jindal’s firing of him as a badge of honor.

Now, Peterman’s removal from the LSBC created a problem for today’s meeting.  The Board’s attorney, Sheri Morris, explained that a temporary new Chairman would have to be chosen from among the Members because Vice Chairman Jill Hebert was absent for a third consecutive meeting, which will likely necessitate a need for her resignation as well.

Let’s take a look at Morris seeking a new temporary Chairman as well as Executive Director Steve Young attempting to explain (in one of the lowest voices we’ve ever heard him use) the circumstances surrounding Peterman’s removal from the LSBC:

6/3/24:  Morris seeks a new Chairman and Young attempts to explain Peterman’s removal from the LSBC.

We have received several reports that Young’s portrayal of Peterman’s removal (which he clearly stated that he received from Peterman and stated, “that’s what the Governor’s Office told her,”) is simply “not accurate.”  Young’s reference to “Congressional maps” is a convenient explanation which bears no reality to the real reason according to sources with whom we spoke about the matter.

Accordingly, we reached out to Gov. Landry’s head of Boards and Commissions, Ryan Roberts (a former Pelican Institute staffer), for any official explanation which the Landry administration may wish to make, but we received no response through the time of publication of this feature.

We will point out, however, that Young’s account is flatly not accurate in one respect, and that is him saying that, “the Senate did not approve the House’s map.”  It’s actually shocking that he can be that much out of the loop; furthermore, if he’d merely read the Landry “hypothetical email,” he would know that both Chambers of the Louisiana Legislature approved the map, Landry signed the bill, then it was challenged by a small group of disgruntled residents in the redrawn district (to include State Sen. Alan Seabaugh), then the Fifth Circuit sided with those plaintiffs, then AG Liz Murrill filed for an emergency stay, which was granted by the U. S. Supreme Court.

Hence, Landry got the map he (and more importantly, State Sen. Cleo Fields) wanted, and that was the map in place when Peterman’s selection was made, and it was also the map reinstated by the U. S. Supreme Court for this November’s election.  So, in our opinion (which matches accounts we’ve been provided), it was not the maps that caused Peterman’s ouster from the LSBC.

If Peterman was ousted for her strong anti-business statements from the Cosmetology Board meeting of April 1, 2024, we want to be as clear as we can be in saying that we strongly salute Gov. Landry for that move!  The attacks against Jeremy Aydell entailing the defeat of Ventrella’s bill are so far beyond the pale that it defies even a modicum of common decency on the part of the bill’s opponents, and Peterman made it clear that she was a strong and vocal opponent of the bill!

Now, it turns out there was one other interesting matter the Board discussed, and that is a mysterious distribution of a memorandum to school owners by LSBC staff instructing them about changes to the practical exam which will incorporate “natural hair texture and styling” effective September 1, 2024.  The Board Members apparently were not pleased with a video for which a link was placed on the LSBC’s website for further details.  Let’s take a look at the discussion of that item at this time:

 6/3/24:  Discussion of obvious displeasure with a video by former LSBC Member Kevin Martin demonstrating “natural hair texture and styling.”

For those who have followed this blog for a long time, there will be a recollection of our 2018 feature exposing the fact that Martin was improperly permitting adult students (one nearly 60 years old) to enroll in a Lafayette Parish public school cosmetology program at which he teaches.  We’re not going to rehash all of the evidence we’d accumulated about Martin’s practices, but let’s just say we had a ton!

That is why Lafayette Parish District Attorney Keith Stutes had no reservations about referring the matter on to then-Attorney General Jeff Landry for potential criminal prosecution.

We’ll also point out that, as reflected on the preceding feature, after initially being in disbelief that anything like that could possibly be happening, the Lafayette Parish School Board took immediate action in informing Martin that the practice had to stop immediately and that any present students who were not actual enrolled students at the school would have to complete any schoolwork at another venue.

Now, anyone looking at the above video can take note of the fact that the current LALB Members want the link to Martin’s video removed so that nobody can view his presentation, which they didn’t hold back in assessing as not very good.

We went ahead and downloaded the video because, despite the Board’s statements that the video wouldn’t be shown, we believe folk ought to be able to make their own judgments about the quality of Martin’s presentation.  With that in mind, here is the video, and please be aware that Martin apparently failed to turn on the audio until 20 seconds into the video:

Former LSBC Member Martin’s video, the link for which current LSBC Members insisted be removed from the LSBC website (wait 20 seconds for audio to be activated).

Now, the commentary of the folk in the room about Martin’s video is what it is, so we’re not going to comment on that commentary other than to say the Board Members could, “consider it done” regarding removing the link for the video from the LSBC’s website.  Furthermore, one Board Member was told to “forget it ever happened” entailing that memorandum even going out, and Executive Director Steve Young reiterated that, “testing will remain as it is.”

We will also point out that, on February 7, 2022, Martin gave a live demonstration of the same material to the then-Board Members, so we’re going to present his presentation to the Board of that date at this time:

February 7, 2022:  Then-LSBC Member Kevin Martin demonstrates natural hair styling and the planned testing of same on the LSBC practical exam.

Now, as everyone knows, hair braiding has been a huge bone of contention at the LSBC, and they have spent a massive amount of legal fees defending against the Institute for Justice’s litigation against the LSBC.  At today’s meeting, yet another hair braider was fined (both the individual and the salon) $550, or $1,100 total.  Let’s take a look at that brief (31-second) video:

6/3/24:  LSBC fines yet more hair braiders for possessing no license.

Now, there’s more to report on this meeting, but rather than breaking it out further, we are merely going to encourage anyone who wishes to watch the remaining topics (by viewing the meeting in its entirety) to do so by clicking here.

We can’t help but recall the famous words of Chris Guidry, an Aveda alumnus, who also slammed the Board to its faces on May 1, 2017.  In fact, let’s close this feature with Guidry’s famous words:

In Louisiana, our students are required to complete 1500, at a cost of around $20,000. Upon completion they have to wait several weeks/months before getting their test date. The large majority of students fail the state board on the first test date. Our state board requires NO continuing education, does not check for cleanliness ( for the guest of the salon ), and only makes sure that our cosmo license is up to date. Basically state board is a straight money grab! They have no regard for the guest or the craft!! It’s disgusting… I certainly don’t want to hurt the craft that I love dearly, but I’m yet to see the benefit of state boards or a license. You become better by practicing and passion not by a piece of paper.

To us, Guidry has enough guts and fortitude to, “tell it like it is!”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.