State Police Commission schedules Carl Cavalier’s appeal hearing for April 14; Will it be one of the last ones it hears given that Sen. Fields has filed legislation to abolish the Commission via Constitutional Amendment?

Former Louisiana State Police Trooper Carl Cavalier, who will have his hearing to appeal Col. Davis’ decision to terminate him heard by the Louisiana State Police Commission on Thursday, April 14, 2022.

Unless anyone is a “Johnny-come-lately” to our blog, everyone will recognize the name “Carl Cavalier.”  He was a major source of internal LSP information without whom the public would likely remain largely in the dark on many LSP matters.

Cavalier made history when he not only slammed LSP operations (particularly regarding the in-custody death of Ronald Greene) but did so using a very public forum by speaking on camera with WBRZ (Channel 2 in Baton Rouge)’s investigative reporter Chris Nakamoto.  Also, Sound Off Louisiana was first to report (on June 10, 2021) Cavalier’s controversial authorship of a book entitled, “Nigger with a Badge.”

Louisiana State Police (LSP) ended up terminating Cavalier on a number of alleged improper activities:  leaking internal LSP material, conduct unbecoming – for authoring the book, and making public statements to news media outlets.  Cavalier sued LSP for wrongful termination and a violation of Louisiana’s Whistleblower Statues.  Cavalier initially filed pro se in 19th JDC State Court in Baton Rouge, but LSP transferred the matter to Federal Court in Baton Rouge.  Cavalier then hired renowned Baton Rouge attorney (she’s developed a cottage industry on suing Louisiana governmental agencies) Jill Craft.

LSP has filed a Motion to Dismiss Cavalier’s suit alleging inadequacy of service among other things.  Most recently, Craft filed this Opposition to LSP’s requested dismissal of Cavalier’s case, and LSP responded with  this Reply Memorandum on its Motion to Dismiss Cavalier’s petition.

We said sometime back that the Cavalier appeal hearing would be the “Super Bowl of LSP appeals,” and we certainly believe that to be the case.  We can now report that the Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC) has scheduled that appeal hearing for Thursday, April 14, 2022.  Let’s take a look at that notice at this time:



Now, we’ve said it before, but we will reiterate it now that we believe that Cavalier’s appeal hearing should be conducted in a forum much larger than the relatively small auditorium existing at the Department of Agriculture and Forestry Building, which is where the LSPC normally conducts its meetings.  We expect that hearing to be flooded with local and state media, and we have little doubt that national media representatives will also be there.  We certainly plan to be there early irrespective of what venue this appeal hearing transpires at because we believe it promises to have plenty of fireworks before the hearing concludes.

Long-time subscribers and site visitors know that we have called for the abolishing of the LSPC for a long time.  We’ve gained plenty of company since we first made the plea years ago, so we’re not even going to try to list all of the folk who have made public comments that the LSPC is a useless, political-hack body which has accomplished absolutely nothing in terms of LSP oversight over its entire duration.  We could cite numerous instances, however, in which the LSPC has made a laughing-stock-joke of having any meaningful degree of integrity or responsible actions when the agency has been provided with every opportunity to be a much more useful and accountable agency.

Examples include the attempted termination of its then-Executive Director, Cathy Derbonne (she ended up being strong-armed into resigning in a closed-door Executive Session), for reporting impermissible campaign contributions and the litigation that ensued on Derbonne’s part and the near $300,000 paid to defend and settle with Derbonne.  Another example is the Chairman and Vice Chairman checking into a swank hotel soon after a meeting and sticking taxpayers with the tab, not only for the cost of the hotel (and it was obvious that this was not the first such encounter as hotel staff laughed and joked with the Vice Chairman while she was at the check-in desk after first patting the Chairman on the rear end) but also the cost to conduct an election to replace the Chairman.

Even all of the above irresponsible acts, however, are not what irks us at Sound Off Louisiana the most!  We’ll tell you what irks us the most.  After we published this November 29, 2020 feature entailing LSP’s Air Support Unit having “conned” the LSPC into lowering flight hours for promotions (which was based on numerous folk with direct knowledge of Air Support’s operations indicating this was a horrendous action by the LSPC), we conducted a series of LSP Air Support Unit investigative features.  We covered everything from the first-ever hiring of a civilian pilot (in direct violation of LSP’s policy to only hire LSP troopers for pilot positions) to an aborted flight entailing Gov. Edwards due to alleged gross deficiencies of training of LSP Air Support pilots and maintenance of LSP’s aircraft.

As we published this April 29, 2021 feature about the civilian pilot’s hiring, we openly called upon the LSPC to answer a ton of questions posed to us by individuals very familiar with LSP’s Air Support operations.  From that feature entailing what we indicated a “responsible” LSPC should do:

Now, we believe that a respectable LSPC would issue a command that Lee and Morrison appear before the Commission and answer the question of why Morrison’s statements above have proven to be demonstratively false.  We also believe that a respectable LSPC would also make the following inquiries of Lee and Morrison:

  1.  How many pilots have received fixed-wing, multi-engine certifications paid for by taxpayers?
  2. How does LSP justify that expense given that LSP has never owned such aircraft?
  3. Does obtaining such certification enable one to obtain a more lucrative private-industry pilot position more readily?
  4. How many such pilots have resigned from LSP soon after obtaining the certifications and for what reasons (we know of three and the reasons thereof and would love to see if Morrison/Lee would be truthful to the Commission)?
  5. Has any pilot employed by LSP Air Support ever paid out of his own pocket to obtain fixed-wing, multi-engine certification?  If so, who?  Did he take annual leave to obtain the certification?
  6. Were other pilots’ tuition for fixed-wing, multi-engine certifications paid for by taxpayers or the pilots themselves?  Were they required to take annual leave for school?
  7. Can you account for the discrepancy, if one in fact exists, between responses to items 5 and 6 above?
  8. Does LSP plan to (or has it already) obtain(ed)  the transfer of a fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft constructed in or around the year 1976 from DEQ to LSP, making that aircraft the first such aircraft in LSP’s possession?
  9. Will Mr. Stamey provide fixed-wing, multi-engine certification training in house?
  10. Was that the primary reason he was hired?
  11. Was the pilot position posting custom-tailored to fit Mr. Stamey?
  12. Is the LSP Air Support Unit being utilized as a means for pilots to obtain credentials enabling them to depart for greener pastures in the private sector with advanced knowledge that their tenures at LSP Air Support are likely to be short-lived once such positions can be obtained?
  13. Why is there such a preference given to Alexandria-area applicants for pilot positions and why have so many historically been chosen from that area?
  14. Was a trooper newly-hired in the Air Support Unit told, “We have no idea how you pulled this off, but that’s not the way it works around here.  We determine who is hired, and you certainly weren’t someone we recommended for hire!”?
  15. Was the trooper referenced in the previous question denied access to the facility on his first day on the job and obtained such access only by having a guard open the gate for him?
  16. Did the trooper referenced in the prior two questions sign in the log book at the facility as “pilot” only to have the word “pilot” stricken out by one or more of his superiors at LSP’s Air Support Unit?
  17. Did the trooper referenced in the prior three questions become so frustrated with the work environment at LSP’s Air Support Unit and the hostility he endured at that Unit that he requested a transfer soon after being hired at Air Support and was in fact soon thereafter transferred to LSP’s Gaming Enforcement Division?

We want to point out that the LSPC could have (and still can) accomplish resolving the above questions via a meeting agenda item.  It does not require the high price tag they keep crying to legislators that they need to hire an “investigator;” furthermore, hiring an “investigator” will accomplish nothing when the agency remains in political-hack status as it has been since its formation.

Did any LSPC member even so much as acknowledge the above itemized questions, much less commit to getting to the bottom of them?  No!  So, here we are having pilots indicating the “reckless” operations at LSP Air Support are placing people’s lives at risk and telling us that its “reckless disregard for maintenance” is going to lead to an LSP helicopter crash sooner rather than later, and the LSPC has no interest whatsoever in holding those who conned them accountable and even reverse their “horrendous” action of lowering flight hours (other experienced pilots’ words, not ours)!

So, what happens?  Not even six months after our post, Air Support’s newest certified pilot crashes a helicopter!  We have been told that the NTSB report on that crash should be out soon, and we intend to thoroughly examine that report once its published.  In the meantime, we’ll point out, however, that several pilots have indicated that the probability is “very high” that it will indicate “pilot error,” and they say that is a direct function of poor training by LSP’s Air Support Unit.  In our opinion, the LSPC is guilty of contributory negligence through its arrogance of essentially saying to us that, “You don’t dictate what we’ll place on an agenda.  We do!”

As another example of LSPC arrogance, the agency has spent hours discussing appropriate (i.e. non-offensive) wording of questions on LSP promotional exams and exams for graduating Cadet classes, but they have done zilch to respond to retired LSP Lt. Leon “Bucky” Millet’s extensive documentation presented to them about alleged cheating on exams that appears to have run rampant over the last six or more years!

The LSPC’s rein of T-total lack of oversight entailing LSP operations and its rein of supreme arrogance may be coming to an end soon if State Sen. Cleo Fields (D-Baton Rouge) has his way.  Fields has apparently heard the protests of so many people who have bent his ear to express frustration and outrage at the LSPC and, accordingly, he recently filed SB-239 to abolish the LSPC.

His bill will require a Constitutional Amendment, and Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns recently testified before the Louisiana Senate Oversight Committee on LSP that, “If you get that initiative through the House and Senate (2/3 vote required in each), I’ve got a couple of hundred dollar bills in my back pocket that says the voters of Louisiana will approve the Amendment.”

We will follow Fields’ legislation very carefully and update our subscribes on its status and hearings.  What can be more fair than letting the people decide?  We’ll certainly highlight those legislators inclined to keep the present (in our opinion corrupt and useless) system in place and deny voters the right to express their collective wills in the elections slated for later this year!

So, stay tuned for Cavalier’s appeal hearing on April 14, 2022 and, with a little luck, it will be about the last matter to appear before this sorry excuse for an accountable and respectable body of Louisiana State Government!

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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.