Robert Burns schools attorneys Celia Cangelosi and Sheri Morris of Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology.








Cogmetology Board Attorney Celia Cangelosi


When I formed this blog, it was never my intent to publish any Sound Off features of my own but rather to permit others the avenue to do so.  Having said that, whenever any state agency, in this case the Louisiana Sate Board of Cosmetology (LSBC), so arrogantly flaunts its gestapo tactics and its attorneys, in this case Celia Cangelosi and Sheri Morris, display unparalleled complacency and lack of comprehension of Louisiana’s open meetings laws, I feel I have little choice but to break my original intent and make a Sound Off post of my own.


Readers may recall a very detailed article I drafted which expanded upon former U. S. Congressman Joseph Cao’s frustration and claims of lawlessness on the part of the LSBC.


That article was followed by cosmetology instructor Nelda Dural Sounding Off on the LSBC echoing Congressman Cao’s sentiments.  Dural voiced her frustration at being singled out for being mandated to employ two instructors when the LSBC, only weeks before, granted an exemption to one of its favored instructors.


The two-instructor requirement is a statute passed in 2010 in what appears to be an obvious effort to drive small schools like Nelda’s out of business.  The prior requirement was that a second instructor was required only if the number of students exceeded 20.  Now, schools are required to have a minimum of two instructors irrespective of how small their classes may be!  Coincidentally, three of the LSBC’s members, Chairman Frances Hand, Lora Moreau, and Michelle Hays, operate large cosmetology schools.


A statute is a statute!  The LSBC does not possess the authority to permit exemptions to a statute; nevertheless, attorneys Cangelosi and Morris sat right in the room and said nothing when the board approved the exemption linked above!


As if the two-instructor cram down to Dural is not bad enough, both Dural and a past student testified that LSBC Executive Director Steve Young told prospective students not to attend Dural’s school and, as a result, she testified that attendance at her school plummeted, thereby inflicting significant financial harm to her.  Interestingly enough, lead prosecutor of Dural, LSBC attorney Morris, who openly advocated to LSBC members to revoke Dural’s teaching license, did not place Young on the witness stand to refute either the student or Dural’s testimony.  If in fact Young did not blackball Dural’s school, it would seem the LSBC would place him on the stand and have him adamantly deny the allegation.  The fact he did not take the stand infers that he either did in fact make the statements or else would have been in a position to have to perjure himself in saying that he did not make such statements.  Basically, it was a horrible implicit expression of guilt on Young’s part for which both he and the board may be exposed to open-ended liability.


The first link in of this post contains embedded videos which are incredibly revealing about the LSBC.  Most stunning are the 4th and 6th videos.


The 4th video entails Young blatantly lying to his LSBC members in stating that California licensing authorities are “removing their seals” from their certifications which are used for reciprocal licenses in Louisiana.  Quite frankly, I did not believe one Vietnamese manicurist when he told me Young was lying.  I countered that there would be no way he would be stupid enough (the words I used) to point-blank lie to his own board with a video camera going!  Nevertheless, a public records request and a call to California licensing authorities readily revealed the fact that Young had in fact point-blank lied to his board members in an apparent self-motivated (or board-motivated) drive to suspend Louisiana’s reciprocity with California.


The 6th video entails attorney Cangelosi exposing rank ignorance about the fact that it is illegal to perform nail services in an esthetics salon.  Vietnamese manicurists obtained licenses to operate esthetic salons which were approved by the LSBC, only to face subsequent violations in being accused of performing illegal nail operations at their freshly-licensed esthetic salons!  In the video, Cangelosi even had to make the utterly embarrassing admission that “somebody licensed them,” but then Morris, in an attempt to bail Cangelosi out of an incredible embarrassment, said it was “friends” who told Vietnamese manicurists that they could perform nail operations in esthetic salons.  Gee, who has the sole and exclusive authority to issue licenses?  Last I checked, it is the LSBC and not “friends” of these Vietnamese manicurists!


Referencing Dural above, the LSBC has now spent four days conducting a so-called hearing on her, and it was their intent to enter into “deliberations” on Monday, July 13, 2015.  I could sense Nelda was uneasy about the LSBC going behind closed doors into executive session to determine her fate.  I informed both her and her attorney, Edward Landry, that she had every right to insist that the deliberations take place in an open forum pursuant to LA R. S. 42:17(A)(1).  Nelda made it crystal clear that she wanted the deliberations in the open.


This time it was Morris’ turn to be the complacent and abrasive attorney!  She got quite testy with me and said that I was stating “my interpretation” of the statue (a standard b/s line attorneys use when they haven’t even read the statute in question and are winging it).  I shot back to her (admittedly in a not-so-friendly tone) that it most certainly was NOT my interpretation of the statute.  I further informed her that, if she did not bring the closed-door deliberations to an immediate halt, given Dural’s emphatic statement that she wanted deliberations conducted in the open, if Dural didn’t sue for an open meetings violation, I would!


Landry, Dural’s attorney, then opened the door to the meeting room and informed the LSBC and Cangelosi that he’d been provided with clear evidence that they were violating the open meetings law and that he objected vehemently to continued closed-door deliberations.  Cangelosi, in her usual flippant demeanor, responded, “so noted.”  Nevertheless, two minutes later, the door was opened, and it was declared that deliberations would be conducted in an open format.  Ironically, they’d planned to be in closed-door deliberations for hours and therefore saw no need for a court reporter until much later that afternoon.  Consequently, with deliberations now open, they had to call the court reporter, and we all had to wait 40 minutes before any open deliberations could even be commenced.


At the LSBC meeting of Monday, August 3, 2015, it became readily apparent that my exposure of the kangaroo court operations of the LSBC as well as its corrupt nature and associated cronyism have taken a toll on the membership, particularly Chairman Frances Hand.  As evidence of that fact, I provide the following 4-minute video clip which readily reveals their frustration:


LSBC attorney Cangelosi, enforcing the will of her
client, LSBC members, insists that Burns move
to the very back corner of the room for videotaping.
Burns had been near the board table for prior meetings, and
he certainly posed no problem in terms of interrupting
decorum, which is
the only restriction the LSBC can
implement.  The LSBC also attempts to ignore Burns’
desire to make public comment regarding consent
agreements (virtually all of which entail
Vietnamese manicurists).

More evidence of an out-of-control LSBC is this KSLA feature news report  on the LSBC giving grief to a young lady providing a mobile salon for the benefit of her elderly clientele.  The comments on that article are quite interesting, including one cosmetologist who readily states that the LSBC is “corrupt.”  The general public certainly appears not to be in the corner of the LSBC and views them as an impediment to a lady with a creative idea for assisting the elderly in nursing homes being able to take some added pride in their existence and enjoyment of life!  As of the time I am composing this post, 600 signatures have signed up seeking for Young and the LSBC to back off and permit her to operate.

Sadly, the LSBC is far from alone regarding corruption and lawlessness among boards and commissions in Louisiana.  Other boards and commissions with similar proclivities include:  Louisiana Auctioneer Licensing Board, Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Interior Designers, and the poster child for corrupt boards (and BY FAR the one with the most egregious corruption I’ve ever encountered), the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry.

These boards and commissions are becoming such an unbelievable impediment to small business operations in Louisiana that Gov. Vitter will have little choice but to take major action to rein in the damaging impacts they have on Louisiana’s small business environment.  He has publicly stated a willingness to do so, and it’s my sincere hope that he follows through and take action to rein in the rank corruption and cronyism which is so rampant in this obscure operations of Louisiana state government.

If you would like to be added to our Sound Off Louisiana email list to be notified of future Sound Off posts, simply scroll to the very bottom of this page (mobile devices) or to the end of the right-hand column (desktops) and 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. 

Former Jindal Director of Media Operations Taylor Huckaby Sounds Off to provide a rare peek into the inner sanctum of Jindal’s administration.

Taylor Huckaby, former Director of Media Operations for former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.


Taylor Huckaby, a former member of Team Jindal who served as his director of media operations, recently wrote an op-ed piece in the Baton Rouge Advocate revealing some of the interactions between Jindal and his closest staff.  Far more revealing than even the preceding op-ed piece, however, was a July 9, 2015 interview with Statewide radio talk show host Jim Engster.  Huckaby readily exposed Jindal’s bigotry toward his fellow Indians and Jindal’s hypocrisy regarding state government transparency.  Engster did a superb job of asking the probing questions, and Huckaby answered them with unusual and rare candor, making him unique among Jindal current and former staffers.  The following audio clips are highlights of the Engster interview with Huckaby:


Huckaby reveals how he joined Team Jindal.


Huckaby reveals Jindal’s isolationist nature and the
tenacity of his gatekeepers. 



Huckaby explains Jindal’s priority of national perception
versus doing what’s best for Louisiana, Jindal’s obsession
with the utilization of
PRIVATE emails to obstruct
FOIA requests
from the media and public and, beginning
at the
1:24 mark, Huckaby explains how, at the 2011
election victory celebration, Jindal’s staff
that his Indian-American supporters standing behind
him on the platform be removed due to “bad optics.”



Huckaby states what life was like with the Jindal
administration once he revealed that he is gay to
key Jindal political adviser Timmy Teepell.


Huckaby outlines what he calls the “fringe
elements” of Jindal’s administration and explains
why it is
perfectly reasonable to expect that
Jindal performed an exorcism.


Huckaby first assesses whether Timmy Teepell has
done well in advising Gov. Jindal and then addresses
whether he (Huckaby) “respects Jindal as a person.”


Feel free to listen to the entire Jim Engster interview here.  Special thanks and kudos to Jim Engster and Taylor Huckaby for providing listeners with such a revealing interview and to fellow blogger C. B. Forgotston for quickly assessing its uniqueness from the vantage point of providing such a rare insight into Gov. Jindal’s inner sanctum.


If you would like to be added to our Sound Off Louisiana email list to be notified of future Sound Off posts, simply scroll to the very bottom of this page (mobile devices) or to the end of the right-hand column (desktops) and 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. 

Cosmetology instructor Nelda Dural echoes Congressman Cao’s lawlessness claims regarding Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology.

Cosmetologist Nelda Dural


On Monday, July 13, 2015, The Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology (LSBC) will deliberate the revocation of the teaching license of Nelda Dural and her school, Iberia School of Cosmetology.  Sound Off Louisiana recently published this feature regarding LSBC Gestapo enforcement tactics against Vietnamese manicurists.  In that piece, former Congressman Joseph Cao, who is plaintiffs’ attorney in a class action lawsuit against the LSBC representing those manicurists, stated:  “The board seems to think it can operate in any manner it wants without regard to the law.”  As evidenced in the 8 1/2 minute highlight of Nelda’s sworn testimony before the LSBC on June 1, 2015, reckless operations appear to be the norm at the LSBC:


Dural sounds off on the LSBC (1:00 – 1:33 is actual complainant
stating that LSBC Executive Director Steve Young
told students “not to go to Iberia School.”)  From 1:30 – 1:33,
 ED Young himself is in video.  Dural got most heated about
why she alone is being singled out for needing two instructors.
As she indicated in her testimony,
 the LSBC approved an exception to the two-instructor statue
 requirement less than 60 days before Dural’s testimony!

Consider the following facts about Jindal’s LSBC appointees:

1.  Jindal’s first Chairman, Michael-John Gaspard, resigned when allegations of male sexual harassment of employees of his spa surfaced.  The nearly $9,000 in contributions to Jindal’s campaign simply wasn’t enough to excuse THAT type of misconduct!

2.  Gaspard’s replacement, Frances Hand, together with Executive Director Young, combine to get the LSBC sued (as well as them personally, though they’ve been released from liability personally) for discrimination and false imprisonment (see link at beginning of this post).  For the record, board attorney Celia Cangelosi was also sued personally, and she remains a personal defendant of the federal litigation to this day.

3.  In early April of 2015, LSBC official Winn Johnson pleaded guilty to selling answers to the LSBC cosmetology licensing exam for $500/pop.

In the above video, testimony is provided both by Dural and a complainant that ED Young informed prospective students not to attend Iberia School of Cosmetology.  If Young felt there was any imminent threat, he should have convened an emergency meeting of the LSBC and let the board take an appropriate action.  Instead, he became the “wild West Sheriff in town” and took matters into his own hands.  In doing so, he acted way beyond his authority.  Moreover, it appears his concerns were very likely unwarranted.  Through his reckless disregard for legal procedure which, as Congressman Cao asserts, appears to be a pattern at the LSBC, Young has opened himself and the LSBC up to a lawsuit by Dural for:  1) restraint of trade, 2) defamation, and 3) discrimination.

When Jindal first assumed office in early 2008, his then-Head of Boards and Commissions, James Quinn, would make one simple request of board or commission appointees.  That request?  “Please don’t embarrass us.”  Who could have envisioned that 7 1/2 years later Jindal himself would be an immense embarrassment to all of the State of Louisiana?  That fact notwithstanding, his LSBC appointees have most assuredly let him down on his one simple request.

If you would like to be added to our Sound Off Louisiana email list to be notified of future Sound Off posts, simply scroll to the very bottom of this page (mobile devices) or to the end of the right-hand column (desktops) and 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.