Former LSP Lt. Sheldon Perkins.
As we mentioned in our last post, the impending passing of Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns’ mother caused all matters being pursued by Burns to be placed on hold until Sunday (July 25, 2021)’s post entailing Burns’ mother’s passing.
One of the more crucial matters missed by Burns was his ability to attend the July 8, 2021 meeting of the Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC), which transpired the day prior to Burns’ mother’s passing. Nevertheless, Burns last week requested and obtained an audio file of that meeting. It was quite a meeting, and there will be several Sound Off Louisiana posts entailing the meeting’s contents, the first of which is today.
Subscribers will recall our coverage of the LSPC’s May 13, 2021 overturning of LSP Col. Lamar Davis’ upholding of former Col. Reeves’ termination of former Lt. Sheldon Perkins. Perkins was terminated for a DWI arrest in which he engaged in numerous acts which we won’t elaborate upon.
We’re not elaborating because we will soon present the entire 56-minute video which LSP Attorney Michele Giroir intended to present to the LSPC in calling for Perkins’ termination to be upheld. She was only able to present 22 minutes of that video, however, because LSPC Chairman Eulis Simien, Jr., in our firm opinion was nothing short of a de facto defense attorney for Perkins (and self-appointed judge over the proceedings).
Simien openly advocated the LSPC viewing none of the video and, were it not for LSPC Member Leonard Knapp, Jr., meekly raising his hand and stating that he’d like to view the segment Giroir ended up presenting to the LSPC (just prior to the body voting to enter executive session), Simien’s obvious efforts to keep the damning evidence out of view of the very jury on which he served would have succeeded!
As a result of the efforts to block the video’s introduction by Simien and the fact that only 22 minutes of the 56-minute video was presented, we made a public records request for that video, and yesterday (July 27, 2021), we obtained the video from LSP.
First, however, at the July 8, 2021 LSPC meeting, the LSPC “clarified” aspects of Perkins’ reinstatement to LSP. Specifically, at the request of LSP, the Commission clarified just how much back pay Perkins would be entitled to receive. The bottom line is that the LSPC, perhaps feeling more than a little heat from the disdain felt by members of the public and especially by current and retired troopers entailing its reinstatement of Perkins, disallowed 498 (calendar) days (approximately 356 working days) of back pay during which Perkins had stayed the investigation of him in order to permit criminal proceedings (pre-trial intervention) to be completed.
Perkins wasn’t exactly fond of LSP’s request nor of the potential for the LSPC to bend to LSP’s request. Perkins voiced his frustration over the 498/356 days of back pay not being granted to him in stating that, “to do anything differently would be to go against what that decision was!” He then emphatically stated that, by not granting his back pay, his 720-hour suspension would, “really go beyond the 720-hour suspension.”
Since 720 hours is the equivalent of 90 work days, apparently Perkins has a mindset that he’s being “cheated” out of 266 (356 – 90) days of pay. He makes such an implicit argument notwithstanding the fact that he admits he needed the delay due to pending criminal charges against him.
His implicit statement that he is somehow entitled to that back pay sure makes us reflect back to the time Col. Davis uttered the words that “the public is getting the perception that police offices are being treated special.” Let’s take a look (listen) to the LSPC’s discussion of the back pay issue at this time:
7/8/21: LSPC clarifies its ruling on Sheldon Perkins of May 13, 2021, particularly as it pertains to back pay associated with his reinstatement.
Now, we are about to present the 56-minute video of Perkins’ arrest which Giroir wanted the LSPC to view.
The video speaks for itself, so we’re going to say very little on it. We will point out, however, that, in the first 18 minutes of the video, Trooper Jackson endures considerable consternation over how to proceed.
He calls his Sergeant, who advises him to, “Handle the matter as you see fit.” He then calls his Lieutenant, who indicates, “I can’t advise you.”
What little we will say is this: Perkins’ conduct on the video below is absolutely inexcusable, as is, in our firm opinion (and that of MANY current and retired troopers and the public at large) the LSPC’s decision to reinstate him.
Here’s the 56-minute video Giroir attempted to present to the LSPC:
Full 56-minute video of LSP’s arrest of LSP Lt. Sheldon Perkins which LSP attorney Michele Giroir attempted to show the LSPC as evidence at Perkins’ appeal hearing of May 13, 2021.
Our sources have told us that, as of Tuesday, July 20, 2021, the final Findings of Fact of the LSPC’s May 13, 2021 decision was in the process of being signed off on. Accordingly, the 30-day clock for Col. Davis’ timeframe for appealing the LSPC’s decision to the First Circuit Court of Appeals has almost certainly now started to run.
As we have stated before, we believe both Davis’ and LSP’s credibility lie in the balance of his Perkins appeal decision. We’ll see if he meant what he said when he stated the public could, “Rest assured. We’re out here doing the right thing!” We will most certainly report on Davis’ decision irrespective of what it ultimately turns out to be.
We’ll also have another installment of that July 8, 2021 LSPC meeting out in coming days.
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