Once again Troy Hebert is stirring things up, but this time, it doesn’t appear the former state senator from Jeanerette will enjoy the same outcome as he did with his last bout of shenanigans.
Hebert solidified his reputation for monkeyshines in 2010 — his last year in the senate — when he launched what many considered a vendetta-fueled attack against 16th Judicial District Attorney Phil Haney. After a flurry of failed legislation focused on dismantling the power of the 16th, Hebert filed a last-ditch complaint against Haney with the state Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel — an ongoing source of heartburn for the district attorney.
Then in Nov. 2010, Gov. Bobby Jindal — likely in an attempt to quash the ongoing political feuding between Hebert and Haney — offered the senator a job as commissioner of the state’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission following the ouster of Murphy Painter, who had been charged with sexual harasment and has since been indicted on charges of computer fraud, making false statements and aggravated identity theft.
Now, two years later, Hebert’s name is once again in the spotlight. But unlike his crusade against district attorney Haney, the tables have now turned on Hebert and this time it's his head that's on the chopping block. Tom Aswell of Louisiana Free Press reports:
Hebert now is facing his own problems including allegations that he deliberately sent an ATC agent into harm’s way, that he has transferred agents from one end of the state to the other with as little as two days’ notice, and last month’s decision by the Louisiana Civil Service Commission that he pay an employee back wages, interest and attorney fees after he suspended her for insubordination when her doctor refused to comply with what the commission agreed were unreasonable demands made under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
But perhaps the most serious claim against Hebert is that he ordered an agent back into bars in New Orleans in full uniform where she had previously worked on undercover assignments to purchase drugs. If true, such a decision could have placed the agent’s life in peril had she been recognized by those from whom she had purchased drugs.
Even more complaints from ATC agents were filed against Hebert on Oct. 2, according to LFP, including:
- Asking an employee to “keep tabs” on a fellow agent;
- Transferring agent Charles Gilmore from Baton Rouge to Shreveport with no advance notice and subsequently telling one of his co-workers, another ATC agent, that he took the action in the hopes it would prompt Gilmore to take early retirement;
- Boasting that he planned to “break up” a trio of black agents in north Louisiana (one of whom was subsequently fired);
- Requiring supervisors to report to their subordinates;
- Calling agent Larry Hingle “a zero” and sending an email to other employees soliciting suggestions for ways to punish Hingle for the agent’s failure to address Hebert at “Commissioner” or “Sir,” as per a directive by Hebert.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg, as more complaints and even two lawsuits also have been filed by ATC workers against their boss, which LFP describes as “eerily familiar to some of the charges against Hebert’s predecessor, Murphy Painter.”