Archive for the ‘Louisiana Legislature’ Category

No 2 LSP Big gets paid vacation after allegations of destroying evidence

04/08/2022

WBRZ – TV2 Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE – State Police Lt. Colonel Doug Cain, who has been the focus of several recent WBRZ Investigative Unit reports for his role at the agency amid the internal investigation into Ronald Greene’s in-custody death, has been placed on administrative leave.

Colonel Lamar Davis, the State Police superintendent, released a statement late Friday morning saying his second-in-command was on paid leave while the agency investigates the circumstances surrounding the “sanitization” of Cain’s department phone. 

“This morning, I placed Lt. Colonel Doug Cain on paid administrative leave pending the ongoing administrative investigation into the sanitization of his department cellular device. The decision to place him on leave was made in the best interest of the department to eliminate any questions into the integrity of the investigation.  I am confident the investigation will be conducted in a fair and unbiased manner leaving no concerns of its findings.”

The deletion of Cain’s phone records, which was first uncovered by Chris Nakamoto and The WBRZ Investigative Unit earlier this year, has been the subject of scrutiny by state lawmakers.

Ronald Greene Homicide Hearing Roundup

03/23/2022

Second-in-command at State Police refuses to answer lawmakers’ questions, lies to them under oath

WBRZ TV2 Baton Rouge

By: Chris Nakamoto and Erin McWilliam

Trooper who oversaw Ronald Greene investigation says he was told to conceal evidence

WBRZ TV2 Baton Rouge

By: Jeremy Krail

‘Torture and murder’: Ronald Greene case turns cop vs. cop

JIM MUSTIAN and JAKE BLEIBERG, Associated Press

State Police brutality expert believes Ronald Greene was tortured, murdered during arrest

Greg Hilburn, Lafayette Daily Advertiser

State lawmakers looking into Ronald Greene fatal arrest can’t get answers on why some LSP personnel had their phones wiped clean

Baton Rouge / louisianaradionetwork.com

Jeff Palermo

State Police official calls Ronald Greene’s death ‘torture and murder.’ Others deny wrongdoing

The (Baton Rouge, LA) Advocate

By Sam Karlin

‘Hide it and deny it’: Trooper says he was ordered to bury Ronald Greene evidence

WAFB TV9 Baton Rouge

By Chris Rosato

Lawmakers outraged at high-ranking trooper’s testimony in Greene case

WAFB TV9 Baton Rouge

LA Senate Follows House Lead with LSP Hearing Friday

03/07/2022

The Louisiana Senate has scheduled a 10 AM, Friday, March 11 hearing of its Select Committee on State Police Oversight.

This follows the Louisiana House of Representatives Speaker Clay Shexnayder’s formation of a special committee that is tasked with investigating the May, 2019 in-custody death of Ronald Greene in Union Parish. That committee meets tomorrow.

The senate committee lists on its agenda:

  • DISCUSSION WITH SECRETARY JAMES LEBLANC AND THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBIC SAFETY & CORRECTIONS
  • DISCUSSION WITH LOUISIANA STATE POLICE EMPLOYEES
  • FOLLOW UP DISCUSSION WITH LOUISIANA STATE POLICE COLONEL LAMAR DAVIS

The hearings can be watched live on the legislature’s website.

LSP “policy” does not supersede law

02/16/2022

Last year when it was discovered that several state police officials had their phones “sanitized” (What? Like with a cloth or something?), it puzzled us how such a thing could happen.

It was “policy,” the Louisiana State Police General Counsel Faye Morrison said in an email to Sound Off Louisiana’s Robert Burns.

Yesterday, Louisiana Voice’s Thomas Aswell actually dug up the aforesaid policy documents.

What we cannot comprehend is how a law enforcement agency chock full of lawyers can with a straight face suggest that their “policy” invalidates state law.

LA RS 14:132.  Injuring public records

A.  First degree injuring public records is the intentional removal, mutilation, destruction, alteration, falsification, or concealment of any record, document, or other thing, filed or deposited, by authority of law, in any public office or with any public officer.

B.  Second degree injuring public records is the intentional removal, mutilation, destruction, alteration, falsification, or concealment of any record, document, or other thing, defined as a public record pursuant to R.S. 44:1 et seq. and required to be preserved in any public office or by any person or public officer pursuant to R.S. 44:36.

C.(1)  Whoever commits the crime of first degree injuring public records shall be imprisoned for not more than five years with or without hard labor or shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or both.

(2)  Whoever commits the crime of second degree injuring public records shall be imprisoned for not more than one year with or without hard labor or shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or both.

State Police Brass destroyed evidence in Greene coverup

02/12/2022

Nakamoto: Top State Police leader tied to Ronald Greene cover-up had phone data erased

WBRZ – TV 2 – Baton Rouge

By: Chris Nakamoto and Trey Schmaltz

BATON ROUGE – As pressure started mounting against State Police following controversial excessive force incidents,  including the death of Ronald Greene, the phone of top agency Lt. Colonel Doug Cain was scrubbed of its data.

It’s a process known as being “sanitized,” and it appears to have erased the messages and other information from Cain’s phone.  The timing is interesting: It came amid a state and federal investigation into Greene’s death.

State Police confirmed Cain’s phone was sanitized but said it could provide little other information because it kept no records.

Chris Nakamoto originally received word from a source about Cain’s phone being cleared of data.  State Police only verified it Thursday when it responded to a public records request and avoided elaborating on when the data was erased from the phone.  State Police said there were no documents related to the process.  In follow-up emails, WBRZ asked for the agency to talk directly with Cain about when his phone was cleared.  A spokesperson eventually offered that Cain estimated it occurred in February 2020.

Cain is among three top leaders at State Police that had their phones wiped clean. The other two officials who had phones wiped after Greene’s death were former LSP Superintendent Colonel Kevin Reeves and his second-in-command, Mike Noel.

WBRZ: Edwards sent helicopter for Belton

02/08/2022

By Chris Nakamoto and Erin McWilliams

(LA Gov Exec Council Matthew) Block was also in constant communication with John Belton, the district attorney in Union Parish.

“Have a moment to talk,” Block texted Belton.

At one point as things were unraveling, the governor’s office even offered to send a helicopter to pick up Belton to meet with the Greene family in Baton Rouge. Sources confirmed to the WBRZ Investigative Unit, Belton used the helicopter offered by the governor’s office.

Another text appears to show Belton was keeping the governor’s office abreast of meetings.

“Greene family and their attorneys would like to meet with me Thursday,” Belton wrote to Block. “If this causes issues with you, then I will reconsider. Out of respect, I wanted to make sure you knew about it.

See here the complete story.

Texts, emails reveal Ronald Greene coverup extended throughout LA state government

02/08/2022

From WBRZ-TV2 Baton Rouge – By Chris Nakamoto and Erin McWilliams

BATON ROUGE- A trove of text messages and emails obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit through a public records request show key members of Governor John Bel Edwards’ staff, lawmakers and those at the top of Louisiana State Police were all talking among themselves about the Ronald Greene case as WBRZ stories played on television weekly throughout 2021.

The emails are thousands of pages long and show the massive force of the general public writing to the governor expressing outrage that no one had been arrested tied to the Greene case.

DA Says Not Enough Evidence to Challenge Campbell Candidacy

07/29/2020

The Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney’s Office said that “We did not find enough evidence to challenge” the candidacy of incumbent Fifth District Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell for the upcoming November 3 election.

The news was reported today in a Zach Parker story for the Ouachita Citizen (subscription required).

Lincoln Parish News Online had reported earlier this week on the complaint filed with the DA.

Campbell Candidacy Challenged

07/27/2020

A complaint has been filed with Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney John Belton asserting that Foster Campbell is not eligible to run for a fourth term as Public Service Commissioner from the Fifth PSC District.

Ruston Attorney Heath Hattaway wrote in his complaint:

Foster Campbell is prohibited by law from becoming a candidate for the Public Service Commission because he has served more than two and one-half (2 1/2) terms in three (3) consecutive terms at the time of qualification.

1. Foster Campbell was first elected to the Public Service Commission on November 5, 2002 by a mere 3,000 votes (hereafter, “Term 1”).
2. Foster Campbell was re-elected on October 4, 2008 (hereafter, “Term 2”).
3. Foster Campbell was re-elected on November 4, 2014 (hereafter, “Term 3”).
4. Foster Campbell qualified for Term 4 on July 22, 2020.

Because Foster Campbell has previously served three (3) consecutive terms of office without the requisite two (2) year wait period found in Article IV, Section 22 (A), he would appear to be ineligible for office under the Louisiana Constitution.

Additionally, while there is a “special privilege” for persons who held the office in 2008 (Foster Campbell was in Term 2 of the office during this time), the Constitution is clear that an exception to the “special privilege” would prohibit him from seeking a Fourth Term during this election because the prior terms (Term 1, Term 2, and Term 3) are counted when considering whether a Fourth Term is permissible under the Constitution. See supra.

As such, I am objecting to his qualification for office under La. Rev. Stat.§ 18:492 A. (4) and submit this evidence to your office in accord with La. Rev. Stat. § 18:491 B.

See here the documents.

And Just Like That – No Free Ride for Foster Campbell @ PSC

07/23/2020

Long-time readers of Lincoln Parish News Online will recall our coverage for several years of the Ouachita Parish Police Jury. Since 2007, District E has been represented by Shane Smiley. He served as the body’s President much of that time. That district covers much of North Monroe and the Swartz area.

Yesterday, Smiley filed as a candidate for the Fifth District of Louisiana’s Public Service Commission, challenging incumbent Foster Campbell.

Campbell, 73, is a career politician. He first won election to the PSC in 2003. Prior to that, for 26 years he had been a state senator from the 36th Senate District. Campbell has also run for U. S. Congress, U. S. Senate, and Louisiana Governor.

Smiley is a Republican and Campbell is a Democrat.

Also notable is another name from the OPPJ, Scotty Robinson.

Robinson yesterday filed as a candidate for U. S. Congress, Fifth District.