A stack of depositions taken recently in the defamation civil trial of Braxton v. Louisiana State Troopers Association (LSTA) and Jay Oliphant.
Not long back, we stated that we’d be publishing a multi-part, in-depth series on the latest developments in the civil trial of former Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC) member Calvin Braxton, who is suing the Louisiana State Trooper’s Association (LSTA), which serves as a “fraternal organization representing the men and women of the Louisiana State Police,” for defamation. Notwithstanding the fact that many individuals have stressed to us that the LSTA is not a union, it is often loosely referred to as a labor union, including by one news reporter, an episode of which will be provided in this feature.
We have already published several features on Braxton; however, since it has been a while since we have and also taking into consideration the fact that our subscribership has increased substantially since our early posts on Braxton, we think the best thing to do on this initial feature of our series is to sort of review everything from scratch entailing Braxton via short, bullet-point items presented in a chronological table. That table follows:
|Date (Timeframe)||Event Transpiring|
|June 10, 2015||Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal appoints Calvin Braxton to LSPC.|
|December 4, 2015||LSP Trooper Jayson Linebaugh pulls over Braxton's daughter for DWI.|
|June 2, 2016 (a stunning 181 days after the incident on 12/4/15).||Then LSP-Captain (Troop E) Jay Oliphant authors this incident report essentially stating Braxton is an egotistical, arrogant, power-hungry individual willing to throw his weight around to obtain special treatment for his family (namely his daughter).|
|June 24, 2016||At the LSTA convention in Lafayette, open outcries are allegedly made for Cathy Derbonne, former Executive Director of the LSPC, to be terminated.|
|July 16, 2016||LSTA attorney Floyd Falcon sends Gov. Edwards this letter calling upon Edwards to initiate proceedings to remove Braxton from his LSPC position.|
|July 19, 2016||Ronnie Jones, Gov. Edwards' former Gaming Control Board Chairman, while on a conference call, allegedly states that, "Gov. Edwards' office has told |
|November 9, 2016||The Louisiana State Board of Ethics, acting on a filing by Derbonne with that agency, imposes this $5,000 fine on the LSTA for the campaign contributions.|
|January 7, 2017||Derbonne, with Braxton voting "no" on acceptance, tenders her resignation from the LSPC which, in turn, votes to "accept" that hurriedly-slapped-together, on-the-fly resignation letter. Derbonne has asserted that the resignation letter was strong-armed out of her in a closed-door LSPC Executive Session minutes before the letter was drafted.|
|Early 2017||Jay Oliphant, author of the 6/2/16 incident report referenced above, makes this Facebook post expressing concerns for the safety of himself and his family entailing Braxton.|
|February 20, 2017||As a Commissioner, Braxton openly ponders "how liable are we?" entailing the Derbonne matter.|
|June 19, 2017||LSTA attorney Floyd Falcon sends Gov. Edwards this follow-up letter asking him whether he (Edwards) is going to proceed with measures to remove Braxton from the LSPC.|
|July 17, 2017||Fox8 (New Orleans)'s Lee Zurik broadcast this feature wherein Braxton is confronted head-on about Oliphant's incident report referenced above. Zurik's feature is soon followed by this WWL-4 feature. PLEASE SEE CONSOLIDATED VIDEO # 1 BENEATH THIS TABLE FOR THE TWO FEATURES.|
|July 21, 2017||Braxton "resigns" from LSPC. [Note: Our public records request of Gov. Edwards' office for a signed resignation letter was fruitless, with his office supplying only a news release that Braxton had "resigned."]. We will have MUCH more to say on this matter in an upcoming feature of this series.|
|January 9, 2018||Derbonne files this "constructive discharge lawsuit" against the LSPC. Note: Judge Morvant tossed the suit based on Derbonne as an employee having no whistleblower protection. Derbonne appealed to the First Circuit, which overturned Morvant's ruling and remanded the case back to Morvant. The LSPC then appealed to the Louisiana Supreme Court, which declined to hear the matter.|
|February 8, 2018||LSTA makes plea before the LSPC for it to give a green light to political contributions, even using representatives of child cancer organizations to plead with commissioners for such contributions to be approved by the LSPC.|
|May 10, 2018||Braxton sues the LSTA and Jay Oliphant for defamation alleging that the incident report of 6/2/16 above is a fabrication.|
|May 17, 2018||WWL-TV in New Orleans airs this May 17, 2018 feature on Braxton's defamation lawsuit against the LSTA and Jay Oliphant. NOTE: The feature is also provided below as the second video of this feature.|
|August 15, 2018||LSTA sues the LSPC stating that the restriction imposed prohibiting it from making political contributions is "unconstitutional." NOTE: Sound Off Louisiana is the ONLY media outlet to even report on this lawsuit's existence.|
|February 21, 2020||Braxton adds LSP to his LSTA civil lawsuit stating that he has been "falsely accused of murder."|
|May 15, 2020||LSTA adds Jason Hannaman, Derbonne's successor, as defendant alleging liability for having drafted and having distributed a circular prohibiting political campaign contributions.|
|July 1, 2020||Then-LSP Col. Kevin Reeves, having already promoted Jay Oliphant twice up to Lt. Col., dictates a pay raise for Oliphant, taking his salary to $155,275 a year.|
|January 4, 2021||Reversing one of two promotions under former LSP Col. Reeves, newly-installed Col. Lamar Davis demotes Jay Oliphant back to Major.|
|February 1, 2021||Hearing is conducted in 19th JDC Don Johnson's courtroom on LSTA v. LSPC entailing the latter's efforts to have the former's lawsuit seeking a judgment to permit political contributions dismissed.|
|February 14, 2021||Judge Johnson issues this ruling drafted by LSTA attorney Floyd Falcon denying LSPC's Exceptions to the LSTA lawsuit on political contributions, thus permitting the litigation to continue subject to a potential LSPC appeal to the First Circuit if it so chooses.|
The video of Zurik and WWL-TV’s Katie Moore’s features as they pertain to Braxton’s allegations of defamation are presented in the following video:
WWL-TV in New Orleans airs this May 17, 2018 feature on Braxton’s defamation lawsuit against the LSTA and Jay Oliphant.
What should be obvious to anyone with two functioning brain cells is that the LSTA is going to annihilate anybody and anything that stands in the organization’s way of making political campaign contributions, and Derbonne and Braxton are the road kill to demonstrate that fact! Additional road kill would be evidenced by retired LSP Trooper Leon “Bucky” Millet and three other LSP retirees who filed the original complaint with the LSPC’s Cathy Derbonne objecting to their dues as LSTA retiree members being used for political campaign contributions. What was the LSTA’s reaction? The LSTA immediately expelled all four former LSP troopers from the LSTA! Anybody feel the word “annihilate” above is too strong?
What any person using logic ought to ask is, “Why is the LSTA so emphatic and dogmatic that it is going to make political campaign contributions come Hell or high water?”
It just may be that making such contributions assists greatly in DAs like East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore finding creative ways to perform acts like dropping all felony charges against former LSTA Executive Director David Young. From the preceding feature:
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said Tuesday, March 9, his office carefully reviewed the facts of the case before deciding not to move forward with prosecution.
We can only openly question if an African American individual had engaged in the kind of reckless behavior Young demonstrated on the video of this WAFB feature if DA Moore would have been so creative?
Regarding Young, yes, he’s the same man who served as a “straw donor” to enable the LSTA to make illegal campaign contributions into Gov. Edwards’ and other politicians’ campaigns!
We’ve now concluded our first installment on Calvin Braxton. Our second installment will entail a very recent development in the Braxton litigation that we believe everyone will find most intriguing.
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.