Inaccurate sworn courtroom testimony of LSPRB Executive Director Irwin Felps highlights status update on five LSP-related civil lawsuits.

Lt. Charlie Jones, DPS A-Shift Supervisor and the individual in charge of the assignment of a controversial security detail to the Louisiana State Police Retirement Board (LSPRB) for Shelley Sebastian’s return to work on Monday, March 11, 2019.

Update (April 27, 2019): 

As indicated would almost assuredly be the case entailing Cathy Derbonne v. Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC), the did re-urge its Peremptory Exception for No Cause of Action.  The hearing for oral arguments is set for Monday, July 29, 2019 in Judge William Morvant’s courtroom.

In this special Easter Sunday feature of Sound Off Louisiana, founder Robert Burns provides status updates to five LSP-related civil lawsuits:


Burns provides updates on five (5) LSP-related civil lawsuits.

 

Observations / Relevant Documentation Pertaining to Each Lawsuit:

 

 

Shelley Sebastian v. Louisiana State Police Retirement System:

Shelley Sabastian, terminated from LSPRB on 1/7/19 and 3/27/19.

Original Feature:  3/27/19:  Document Felps said to rely upon to terminate Sebastian asserted “not to exist.”

Sebastian material begins at 1:57 on video above.

Emails which DIRECTLY CONTRADICT the sworn courtroom testimony of LSPRB Executive Director Irwin Felps, Jr., entailing the retaining of security for Sebastian’s return to work being, “all oral with nothing in writing.”:

Sebastian’s final two time sheets for which the LSPRB is steadfastly refusing to provide the codes for the nature of her leave:

LSPRB’s official bogus explanation for why they have no intention of providing the codes applicable for Sebastian on the above time sheets:

As evidence that the preceding statement attributed to “legal counsel” is, we firmly believe, 100 percent bogus, consider our massive request for LSP time sheets, for which no such “privacy issues” were cited by LSP’s legal counsel for ANY of the sixteen (16) troopers for whom time sheets were requested AND provided in FULL.  NONE!!

Furthermore, even Louisiana Auctioneer Licensing Board Executive Director Sandy Edmonds, who was actively being investigated at varying times by both the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office and the Louisiana Office of Inspector General for alleged payroll fraud based upon time sheets we derived and submitted to them (which disclosed her being “on the clock” when, in reality, she was frequently vacationing out of state), had no such “privacy issues” asserted.  All anyone has to do is click here to see just a small sampling of the accounting for ALL hours applicable for Edmonds to include sick leave used/taken, annual leave used/taken, etc. supplied by Ms. Edmonds, her in-the-dark status of being investigated for alleged payroll fraud notwithstanding!

So, in a nutshell, we firmly believe that the preceding explanation provided by the LSPRB (stated to be uttered by “legal counsel” of whom we make clear we have a pretty low opinion in the preceding video) is, as we stated above, 100 percent bogus!  If anything, the apprehension regarding providing us with the leave codes stems from the fact that the payroll records applicable for the payroll periods have already been processed and pay stubs issued.  Hence, there exists no ability to, as Sebastian’s attorney asserts in the original Writ of Mandamus, go back and alter public records.  In other words, they are now etched in proverbial stone.

Those now-processed codes entailing Sebastian’s final pay likely cause Gann and Felps consternation in that they may well implicate them in payroll fraud given that Sebastian was ready, willing, and able to work, yet Felps allegedly told her to “stay away from the office” from March 13, 2019 through her termination date of March 27, 2019.  Under the theory that the leave taken by Sebastian (entailing one or more time sheets that were neither prepared by her nor signed by her) was sick leave when she was in fact ready, willing, and able to work, one can only conclude that payroll fraud appears to have taken place under such a scenario; furthermore, only Felps and Gann’s names appear anywhere on the time sheets as having any involvement in any such potential payroll fraud.

 

 

Kevin Sulcer v. Louisiana State Police:

LSP Trooper Kevin Sulcer, who asserted that a polygraphist position was posted by LSP in such a manner that only one candidate would emerge qualified (Donny Guitreau) and that he was excluded from being able to post for the position because of his African-American race.

Sound Off Louisiana has not previously published material entailing the Sulcer litigation.

Sulcer material begins at 20:21 on video above.

April 10, 2019 Order granting LSP’s Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissing Sulcer’s lawsuit with prejudice (i.e. without the right to re-file on the same subject matter).

 

 

Cathy Derbonne v. Louisiana State Police Commission:

Cathy Derbonne, former Executive Director of the Louisiana State Police Commission, who asserts she was “constructivel discharged” for whistleblowing actions on her part.

Original Feature:  1/28/18:  Ronnie Jones:  “Governor’s Office had told Derbonne to ‘shut the f— up.”’

Derbonne material begins at 23:35 on video above.

March 12, 2019 amended pleadings of Cathy Derbonne

 

 

Calvin Braxton v. Louisiana State Trooper’s Association:

Former Louisiana State Police Commission Member Calvin Braxton, who is suing the Louisiana State Trooper’s Association for alleged defamation of his character entailing an investigative report by Fox8’s Lee Zurik.

Original Feature:  5/15/18:  Braxton sues for defamation entailing LSTA’s role in Zurik investigative feature.

Braxton material begins at 27:26 on video above.

The following material is a copy and paste from our  post regarding potential nepotism entailing LSP Col. Reeves’ son, Caleb.

Level 3 Approval:  Jay Oliphant, whom Reeves promoted to Region 3 Majoron June 27, 2017.  Incredibly, and from what we are told by our LSP sources, Oliphant THEN RECEIVED A SECOND PROMOTION (to a highly-prestigious position of Lieutenant Colonel)  as  “deputy Superintendent of Patrol”sometime after June 27, 2017.  Again, as with Vidrine above, we could find no press release or other notice via Google search, but also as evidenced similarly to Vidrine above, Oliphant clearly got the second promotion as evidenced by the previous link.

Lieutenant Colonel Oliphant is perhaps the most intriguing player in the mix.  As long-time Sound Off Louisiana subscribers are aware, it is Oliphant who is the central focus of former Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC) member Calvin Braxton’s defamation lawsuit against the Louisiana State Trooper’s Association (LSTA).  In essence, Braxton alleges that the material contained in a report authored by Oliphant, which can be viewed beginning on page three (3) at this link, constituted an orchestrated attempt by the LSTA to have him removed from the LSPC by having Oliphant produce a “fake” incident report which Braxton claims is completely false.  He also asserts in the lawsuit that the content of that incident report has defamed his character.

Experts with whom we’ve spoken with ties to LSP have told us that the incident report, which is dated June 2, 2016, is highly suspicious as to its credibility because the actual incident transpired on December 5, 2015.  These experts have informed us that it’s unheard of for an LSP Trooper to draft an incident report some 180 days after the incident, and they’ve told us that the norm is for such a report to be prepared within 24 hours of the incident or 48 hours at the latest.

The timing of Oliphant’s report is also suspicious in that Braxton was known to be working with former LSPC Executive Director Cathy Derbonne regarding irregularities at the LSPC.  Most noteworthy among those irregularities were illegal campaign contributions into Gov. Edwards’ (and others) campaigns in 2015 by the LSTA.  A consent agreement was reached with the State Board of Ethics entailing those illegal campaign contributions which called for a $5,000 fine to the LSTA.

What makes the timing of Oliphant’s incident report (June 2, 2016) suspicious is that, only 47 days after it was drafted, Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones made a stunning revelation on a conference call for which he did not know Cathy Derbonne was listening in on via speakerphone.  Specifically, Derbonne contends that, on July 19, 2016, Jones stated that Gov. Edwards’ office had told Derbonne to “shut the f— up”about both the campaign contributions and the fact that she contended Gov. Edwards was making illegal appointments to the LSPC by not following Louisiana’s Constitution.  Derbonne’s contention about such illegal appointments actually mirrors the claim Attorney General Jeff Landryrecently lodged against Edwards in litigation Landry has filed entailing an Edwards appointment to the Red River Basin Commission.

Another interesting aspect of Lt. Colonel Oliphant is a Facebook post he made in early 2017 which follows:

Because LSP is itself law enforcement, Oliphant’s social media post seems particularly inappropriate and may have warranted disciplinary action because of the horrendously bad message that it sends to the public.  Specifically, it sends the message that someone citizens have entrusted to be brave when being called upon to help them resolve their insecurities or fears actually openly admits in a wide-open, available-to-the-world Facebook post that he struggles to manage his own insecurities and fears.  His reference to doing “whatever is necessary to protect those who are near and dear to me; including myself” could very easily be interpreted as an LSP Trooper willing to take the law and legal process into his own hands, which is something any LSP Trooper would warn any citizen against doing.

Oliphant also appears to want to be cute in not naming the individual whom he references as instilling such “fear” into him, yet all the while he’s composing that post, and it’s being commented upon and shared, he knows full well that anyone reading the post will know full-well that he’s referencing Braxton.  We should also note that we have been informed by folk with strong LSP ties that making a Facebook post of the nature Oliphant has made is potentially a violation of LSP’s policies and procedures.  If it isn’t, it certainly ought to be because of the horrendously bad message that it sends to the general public.  Sources have told us that Oliphant deleted the Facebook post in short order, but not before the preceding screen-shot was taken and subsequently provided to us for the purpose of this Sound Off Louisiana feature.

Braxton has denied any such focus on Oliphant.  Also, his attorney, Jill Craft, who also represents Derbonne in her LSPC litigation, states in the following interview with WWL in New Orleans, how Oliphant should have handled any such concerns on his part (for which we wholeheartedly agree with Craft’s statements in that regard):


Craft comments on Oliphant’s alleged fears of Braxton and Braxton’s contention that he was the victim of a smear campaign orchestrated by the LSTA designed to have him removed from the LSPC.

It will be up to the jury in Braxton’s civil litigation to decide whether or not it concurs with Braxton’s very emphatic contention that Oliphant’s report is a fabrication and, further, if his name and reputation have been damaged by the LSTA and/or Oliphant, but we will make the following four observations on the matter:

1.  The matter of the political contributions was (and is) obviously highly sensitive to the LSTA, and that fact has been readily demonstrated by the LSTA’s recent lawsuit against the LSPC seeking to again make such contributions in the 2019 election cycle.

2.  IF (emphasis on the word “IF”) the incident report by Oliphant is indeed a fabrication, then THAT would explain why Edwards sat on the report for over a year.  Fox8’s Lee Zurik hammered Edwards hard on that fact.  Either way, the optics look horrible for Edwards.  Only two possibilities exist:  1) the incident report is authentic, in which case Edwards looks horrible for sitting on it for a year and taking no action until Zurik exposed its existence in a very public manner; or 2) the report is a fabrication, in which case Edwards appears complicit in the effort to sandbag Braxton by sitting on the report unless and until it was needed to oust Braxton from the LSPC.

3.  When we made a public records request of the Edwards administration for a signed resignation letter from Calvin Braxton, his office could provide us with nothing more than this press release, which had been widely distributed through Gov. Edwards’ internal email distribution system.

4.  IF (and again we emphasize “IF”) the report is a fabrication as Braxton alleges, that would mean that LSP has gotten corrupt beyond comprehension in that:  A) the LSTA could deploy a puppet (in this case, Jay Oliphant) to remove someone on the LSPC whom they deem to be adverse to their own interests; and B) that puppet would thereafter be rewarded for his role in the ouster via two lightening-fast promotions, the most recent of which is to a very highly prestigious position of Lt. Colonel, for which there are only four such appointments of that rank.  If that scenario is indeed what has transpired, then LSP can only be described as little short of a Mafia operation!  Further, the public’s trust will be almost impossible to restore for an agency that is that corrupt short of a massive overhaul led by someone from the outside who has no prior LSP connections, and Reeves wouldn’t remotely qualify for meeting that criterion!

Was Reeves’ rapid-fire promotions of Oliphant a “reward” to Oliphant for his alleged role in assisting with an alleged plot to oust Braxton?  We do not know, but Col. Reeves is invited to appear on camera to respond to any and all aspects of this investigative report to dispel any notions of nepotism, a continuation of the Edmonson sleaze factor, or anything else for which he’d like to provide commentary.

 

 

Louisiana State Trooper’s Association v. Louisiana State Police Commission:

Louisiana State Trooper’s Association President (and member of the Louisiana State Police Retirement Board) James O’Quinn.

Original Feature:  10/5/18:  LSTA asserts LSPC “violating our constitutional right.”

LSTA material begins at 31:05 on video above.

April 9, 2019 dilatory exception filed by Louisiana State Police Commission

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