With tens of thousands of Louisiana citizens out of work and businesses on verge of collapse, disgraced outgoing LSP Col. Reeves rewards inner-circle cronies with pay raises.

Disgraced outgoing LSP Col. Kevin Reeves.

Sound Off Louisiana subscribers may recall that, on March 4, 2020, we called upon LSP Col. Kevin Reeves to just go ahead and “resign in disgrace.”   From the preceding feature:

As for Col. Reeves:

1.  He was Oliphant’s supervisor at the time Oliphant drafted the original incident report regarding Braxton’s alleged intimidation,

2.  It’s now a near certainty that Gov. Edwards (much to the frustration of the LSTA which prompted them to get Zurik involved) sat on Oliphant’s incident report for over a year because he knew (just as Reeves obviously knew since he had to approve it) that it was a fabrication,

3.  The recent training academy fiasco,

4.  The haphazard implementation of pay raises that Trooper Coates has now established has transpired agency-wide,

When combined with many other recent LSP black eyes and the fact that Reeves obviously merely elevated his chief lieutenants to sky-high salaries (and we’ve heard reports they may have just gotten big pay boosts as Reeves may have as well, but we’ll have to pursue public records requests to substantiate that fact), so that they could retire with fat pensions (just as Reeves will), we firmly believe it’s time for Reeves to resign in disgrace!  His tenure as LSP Colonel can now officially be declared an absolutely unmitigated disaster!

We certainly did pursue a public records request back at the time of that March 4, 2020 feature to substantiate what some irate LSP troopers were telling us were pay raises Reeves had promised to his inner circle of cronies.  Subscribers may recall that several of those cronies, who readily agreed to sign off on Reeves’ son obtaining a much-coveted Detective position despite any evidence we could obtain (and, yes, we asked for such evidenced) of qualification or training for such a position.  As the preceding article indicates, Reeves handed out promotions left and right to his cronies during the timeframe leading to Reeves’ son, Kaleb, obtaining the Detective position.  [Sidebar:  For reasons unknown, Kaleb Reeves was transferred back to patrol after several months serving as a Detective, and he was recently in an at-fault rear-ending of a vehicle in which two young ladies, ages 18 and 11, were killed.]

When we made the public records request entailing the pay raises back in early March, the response we received from LSP legal counsel Faye Morrison was that, “there are no documents responsive to your request.”  Accordingly, we surmised that any such pay raises must have been intended to go into effect at the start of the new fiscal year (July 1, 2020).  Accordingly, we recently made the same public records request and, to what should be nobody’s surprise, we hit pay dirt, and we’re about to elaborate upon the contents of the response to our public records request.

As every Louisiana citizen is aware, an absolutely massive number of Louisiana citizens are presently out of work through no fault of their own as a result of the Corona virus pandemic.  Further, many businesses continue to struggle to keep their doors open given the capacity limits under which they must operate.  Given that backdrop, let’s take a look at how the privileged few are making out at LSP during a time of revelations of one act of corruption and cover-up after another in the media:

First, we have none other than Col. Reeves himself.  He officially “retires” effective tomorrow (Friday, October 30, 2020), but for his final four months of service, he managed to obtain a pay raise for himself (presumably authorized by Gov. John Bel Edwards, who hasn’t hesitated to emphasize how much he “stands behind” Reeves).  From the linked public records request response above:

This request is to grant a 4% salary adjustment for Deputy Secretary/ Colonel Kevin Reeves, increasing his salary from $177,436 to $184,533 annually.

So, for the Louisiana citizens out there having to try and make do with an approximate $220/week unemployment check (if they’re fortunate enough to qualify for the maximum), take comfort from the fact Col. Reeves’ mere increase in pay amounts to over half of what they’re receiving in total.

Now let’s move on to a gentleman near and dear to former Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC) member Calvin Braxton’s heart, Lt. Col. Jay Oliphant:

Reeves promoted Oliphant not once, but twice, prior to Oliphant signing off on the Kaleb Reeves Detective position.  Braxton is suing Oliphant, and in the suit, he alleges that Oliphant, in concert with Reeves and the Louisiana State Troopers Association (LSTA), fabricated an incident report which Braxton alleges is near 100 percent false.  Braxton’s attorney, Jill Craft, has been entering depositions of many of the players in the Braxton ouster into the pubic record in state court in Natchitoches, Louisiana.  We, in turn, have been (at least to the extent we feel we can reasonably afford), downloading either depositions in their entireties or excerpts of those depositions in preparation for a major update we’re planning on the Braxton civil litigation.  For now, however, we’ll merely focus on the raise Reeves recently bestowed upon Oliphant.  Again, from the linked public records request response above:

Please grant a salary adjustment of 3% effective 7/1/20 to LTC Jay Oliphant. Annual salary to be $155,275.00.
Approved by Colonel Kevin Reeves.

Next, we have Lt. Col. Robert Adam White (no photo available):

Please grant a salary adjustment of 3% effective 7/1/20 to LTC Robert “Adam” White.  Annual salary to be $155,275.00.
Approved by Colonel Kevin Reeves.

Next we have Jason Starnes.  Anytime we see that name, we can’t help but reminisce about the most cantankerous video we’ve ever produced at Sound Off Louisiana, and it entailed former LSPC Member Lloyd Grafton and current LSPC Member Jared Riecke arguing over, guess what, yet another controversial raise for Starnes.  For subscribers who’ve never seen the video, we think you’ll find it well worth the watch:

February 9, 2017 LSPC meeting entailing a very heated exchange between members Lloyd Grafton and Jared Riecke regarding a controversial pay raise for Jason Starnes.

Like Oliphant, Starnes signed off on the Kaleb Reeves Detective position.  In fact, Starnes was the highest level of approval required for Reeves to obtain the Detective position.

From the response to our public records request above:

Please grant a salary adjustment of 3% effective 7/1/20 to LTC Jason Starnes.  Annual salary to be $155,275.00.  Approved by Colonel Kevin Reeves.

Next we have Lt. Col. Robert Brown, whom Reeves recently named as his Chief of Staff.  This recent feature by WBRZ investigative reporter Chris Nakamoto revealed that Brown’s son, Jacob, was “placed on leave last week in what our [WBRZ] sources described as a 2019 excessive force incident.”

Again, from the previously-linked response to our public records request:

Please grant a salary adjustment of 3% effective 7/1/20 to LTC Robert Brown. Annual salary to be S166, 144.00.
Approved by Colonel Kevin Reeves.

Next we have Lt. Col. Michael Layne Barnum (no photo available).  Again, from the linked public records request response:

Please grant a salary adjustment of 3% effective 7/1/20 to
LTC Michael Layne Barnum. Annual salary to be $155,275.00.
Approved by Colonel Kevin Reeves.

The remainder of the response to our public records request deals with pay adjustments for pilots which we believe we recall being discussed by the LSPC together with a few emails entailing adjusting those salaries.

When a similar set of pay raises was  discussed at the October 13, 2016 LSPC meeting, retired LSP Trooper (and LSP watchdog) Leon “Bucky” Millet expressed his concerns that neither Louisiana’s Constitution nor LSPC rules were followed for the pay raises [see item III(d) on page 2 of the preceding linked minutes].  There have been some questions raised by several of our sources as to whether the current set of raises may have been proper or legal and whether or not they should have been presented to the LSPC for approval.  We do not know whether that’s the case or not; however, it has been our experience that LSP upper brass has typically simply borrowed the famous Nike slogan of “just do it!”

So, if anyone reading this feature is out of work and hoping that their meager unemployment benefits aren’t exhausted before another job can be procured (or perhaps even awaiting a second round of stimulus from Washington), rest easy that LSP upper brass have been well provided for by outgoing disgraced LSP Col. Kevin Reeves.

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