Gov. Edwards’ Auction Board appointee Jacob Brown pleads guilty to issuing hot checks to State of Louisiana, sentencing to transpire February 2.

Gov. Edwards’ appointee to the Louisiana Auctioneer Licensing Board (LALB), Jacob Brown, is arrested in mid 2018 for issuing hot checks to the State of Louisiana after Gov. Edwards’ administration awarded him contracts for the auctioning of surplus state vehicles and equipment.

On April 20, 2016, not long after being sworn into office, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed Rev. Freddie Lee Phillips who, at the time, was Louisiana’s first and only African American auctioneer, to the Louisiana Auctioneer’s Licensing Board (LALB).

After being bombarded with Facebook and other social media posts by the Louisiana Auctioneer’s Association (LAA) for Phillips’ appointment to be rescinded or for the Louisiana Senate not to confirm Edwards’ choice, Edwards caved to the pressure and rescinded Phillips’ appointment on May 5, 2016, which was only 16 days after appointing Phillips.  Four days later, on May 9, 2016, Rev. Phillips directly confronted Edwards on camera at the conclusion of a meeting of the Baton Rouge Press Club (BRPC).  Let’s take a look:

May 9, 2016:  Rev. Freddie Phillips confronts Gov. Edwards on his action of removing him from the LALB only 15 days after appointing him.

Edwards replaced Phillips with Jacob Brown, son of convicted felon Cecil Brown, who went to Federal prison in the aftermath of the Federal trial of the late four-term Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.  Gov. John Bel Edwards (no relation to Edwin Edwards) and his administration wasted no time awarding Brown contracts for the auctioning of state surplus vehicles and other surplus property.

Brown, in an apparent attempt to feed a strong drug addiction, opted to issue worthless checks to the State of Louisiana.  A warrant was issued for his arrest and, though WAFB (Channel 9 in Baton Rouge) opted not to mention the first word about Brown being an Auction Board appointee of Gov. Edwards nor the fact that his hot checks were written to the State of Louisiana, profiled Brown in mid-July of 2018 on its Crime Stoppers feature.  Let’s take a look:

WAFB’s Crime Stoppers profile of Brown as well as his arrest.

We always commit to keep our subscribers current on developments after an arrest (just as we recently did entailing an arrest of former Louisiana State Troopers Association Executive Director David Young on multiple felonies).  After being rescheduled numerous times, Brown’s trial was scheduled for November 18, 2021, and he opted to plead guilty on that date.  The minute entry indicates that Brown owed $175,342 in restitution (i.e. money to us as taxpayers) on the date of his guilty plea.  Sentencing is scheduled for February 2, 2022, and we’ll follow up on this feature at that time entailing what sentence is handed down to Brown.

As for Phillips, he has stated that God guided him in a different direction regarding the auction industry.  He approached Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns and said, “We’ve spent years attending LALB meetings and trying to convince old-guard auctioneers to conduct auctions in an honest and transparent manner.  It’s obvious we’re never going to be able to have success in those efforts.  I think we can have a much better shot at making improvements to the auction industry in Louisiana by forming an auction school and instilling in brand new auctioneers that sense of honesty and transparency as they conduct their auctions.”

With that, the Freddie Phillips School of Auctioneering was born.  Over the years, quite a few alumni have expressed their sincere thanks for the privilege of attending the first-in-the-nation school with its content largely delivered online!  Among those graduates are two more African American Louisiana graduates and licensed auctioneers:  Marjoe Holmes and Louisiana’s first and only female African American auctioneer Ashley Banks.

Further, the $550 tuition is about a third of what other schools across the United States charge students.  Phillips’ school was at the forefront of the online delivery of auction education and was doing so long before COVID, but the arrival of COVID certainly did cause virtually every auction school to have to revert to online delivery just to keep their doors open!

What makes the Freddie Phillips School of Auctioneering unique is that the material taught is not just hypothetical textbook material.  Because both Rev. Phillips and Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns have encountered numerous instances of auctioneers having to learn lessons “the hard way,” Burns and Phillips made concerted efforts to gear the school in such a way that the school’s auction students benefit from those auctioneers’ experiences.  The hope is that graduates of the school will be spared the episodes in their own careers and thus avoid the adverse impacts felt by those auctioneers who had to learn lessons “the hard way.”

Even the cream-of-the-crop and most honest-of-honest auctioneers, such as Dave Gilmore of SVN/Gilmore Auction in Kenner, Louisiana, can make mistakes that prove costly.  So, as we wrap of this feature, we’re going to provide our subscribers with a free opportunity to sample a lesson from the Freddie Phillips School of Auctioneering.  The two videos which follow constitute Lesson 18 of the school, and that lesson focuses on the Buyer’s Premium at auctions.  Here are the videos associated with that lesson:

Freddie Phillips Auction School:  Buyer’s premium (Lesson 18).  CLICK HERE for highlighted text within the auction terms and conditions to assist
with ensuring bidders know that the auctioneer serves as an agent of the SELLER and NOT of the buyerCLICK HERE for the litigation filed against Gilmore Auction and Francis Braud, Jr., alleging, in essence, that, by giving advice to the buyer, Braud implicitly established an agency relationship notwithstanding the signed terms and conditions of the auction clearly stating that Gilmore Auction served  exclusively as agent for the seller.  CLICK HERE for the court’s DENIAL of Gilmore Auction and Braud’s Motion for Summary Judgment.

Freddie Phillips Auction School:  Buyer’s premium – addendum (Lesson 18).  Presentation of the outcome of the Gilmore Auction litigation referenced above wherein the judge overseeing the trial ultimately awarded
$72,573.09 judgment against Gilmore Auction and Francis Braud, Jr.

Essentially, the Freddie Phillips School of Auctioneering is the epitome of the old adage that, when life deals you a lemon (Gov. Edwards’ removal of Phillips from the LALB), do everything you can to turn that lemon into lemonade.  Phillips made the most of a frustrating experience, and we know that he is very proud to own and operate the only auction school located in Louisiana and of the high caliber of graduates of that school who enter the auction profession in Louisiana.

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