On Friday, May 5, 2023, LSP Trooper Justin “Stalekracker” Chaisson prepares alligator tacos at a Cinco de Mayo celebration (Photo Source: McComb Enterprise Journal).
On January 6, 2023, LSP Trooper Justin Chaisson (a/k/a “Stalekracker”) was fired from Louisiana State Police (LSP) for his role in a boating crash over the Fourth of July weekend in 2022. The easiest way to bring visitors up to speed is to present the WBRZ video associated with the link in the preceding sentence. Here it is:
1/6/23 video from WBRZ’s coverage of Chaisson’s firing.
Chaisson appealed his termination, which was handed down by former LSP Col. Lamar Davis as evidenced by this Termination Letter dated January 4, 2023 effective January 6, 2023 at 4:30 p.m. [Please note that the copy quality for the first two pages is less than stellar; however, beginning on page three (3), the quality of the copy improves dramatically].
We normally place highlights of such correspondence within our features; however, we are instead in this instance going to merely make two quick notations about the letter. First, we’ll point out that the operator of the boat in which Chaisson was traveling as a passenger had a blood alcohol content of 0.152%, which is nearly twice the legal limit for driving. We make that observation because of the horrendously bad copy quality and notate that the BAC measurement is on page two (2) of the document at the very end of the second paragraph.
Second, former LSP Colonel Davis asserts that Chaisson was repeatedly “inconsistent” in statements he made about the incident (hit a tree stump vs. another boat, statements made to investigating officers, etc.).
According to Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC) records we requested and received on Friday, February 2, 2024, an appeal hearing was initially scheduled for June 8, 2023. That hearing was continued until December 14, 2023. That hearing was continued until January 11, 2024, which was the most recent LSPC meeting. Because the passengers (and owners) in the other boat had previously scheduled a vacation to Denver, Colorado, another continuance became necessary.
LSP instead opted to, on January 4, 2024, agree to this joint settlement between LSP and Chaisson reversing the termination and instead converting it to a 240-hour suspension. From that agreement:
The parties hereby agree to resolve this appeal as follows:
A. The termination imposed as discipline for violating the foregoing LSP policies is rescinded. The record of termination imposed as discipline will be expunged from his personnel, Internal Affairs and departmental record.
B. A 240 hour suspension will be recorded in lieu thereof, nominated in the following form-
(i) Conduct Unbecoming 40-hour suspension
(ii) Conformance to Laws 40-hour suspension
(iii) Employee Responsibility 120-hour suspension
(iv) Lawful Orders 40-hour suspension
C. Reinstatement to the rank of Master Trooper shall be effectuated as of January 12, 2024, but only upon approval of this Joint Consent Settlement by affim1ative vote of the Louisiana State Police Commission on or before January 11, 2024.
D. Remuneration for reinstatement shall be paid in accordance with the two-page spreadsheet identified as Exhibit A attached hereto, and all parties hereby agree that the amounts and totals included thereon are correct and calculated without error.
At the conclusion of the two-page spreadsheet referenced in D) above, the final cost to taxpayers to reinstate Chaisson is $128,000+. As pointed out to us by one retired LSP Lieutenant, that figure does not include all of the annual leave which was reinstated beyond the 300 hours which Chaisson was paid at termination (which was deducted from the final cost of reinstatement).
At this time, let’s present a brief (90 second) video from the January 11, 2024 LSPC meeting at which LSP attorney George Hardy provided the only stated reason LSP was willing to divulge regarding why it chose to agree to this settlement agreement with Chaisson (and we’ll note Hardy seemed to fumble around for words to provide LSP’s justification):
1/11/24: LSP Legal Counsel George Hardy explains the rationale for LSP agreeing to the settlement agreement.
As we begin to conclude this feature, let us provide an interview we conducted today (Monday, February 5, 2024) with Billy Broussard, who attended the 1/11/24 LSPC meeting wherein he and Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns discuss various factors which may have played into LSP’s decision, to include: race relations (past and present) at LSP. Further, Burns provides the feedback of two (2) retired LSP Troopers for whom Burns states that he has the utmost of respect. Though Burns respects both of the retired troopers, their opinions regarding Chaisson’s reinstatement were 180 degrees apart. Here is that video:
2/5/24: Burns and Broussard engage in a friendly banter entailing LSP’s rationale for agreeing to the Stalekracker settlement agreement.
Regarding Burns candidly stating that the LSPC got itself into a predicament regarding a past action entailing Sheldon Perkins, we provide the link for that feature. The videos are WELL worth the watch for relative newcomers to Sound Off Louisiana as well as refreshing long-time Sound Off Louisiana viewers regarding Perkins’ reprehensible conduct as well as LSPC’s bizarre action of reinstating him.
Regarding Burns’ reference to Davis’ reference to, “police officers being treated special,” here’s that video:
Former LSP Col. Lamar Davis, very early in his tenure as Colonel, indicates that the public would not receive the same rights and liberal leave policies the LSPC & LSP are affording LSP Troopers.
We can only say that, since the time Davis made that utterance, many citizens in Louisiana would assert that Sheldon Perkins and Justin “Stalekracker” Chaisson’s reinstatements would serve as Prima facie evidence which strongly buttresses Davis’ statement.
We conclude this feature by indicating that, though the Chaisson matter may now be fully resolved, we just may hear from Mr. and Mrs. Sheets at the February 8, 2024 (Thursday) meeting of the LSPC. We indicate that as a result of this Denial of a Continuance sought by LSP in light of their Denver, Colorado vacation. LSPC attorney Lenore Feeney notes in the Denial: “The Motion to Continue is denied; however, the record will remain open so that Mr. and Mrs. Sheets may testify at the February 8, 2024 meeting of the Commission.”
If Mr. and Mrs. Sheets do attend and testify (which they can always speak on any matter not even on the agenda at the meeting’s conclusion), we will certainly be there to videotape their statements and subsequently publish those statements.