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.”
Click here for more on Hebert's current woes, and here for more on his feud with district attorney Haney.
MAY 24 Blogger Robert Mann posts this entry about the Baton Rouge Chamber's recent report on Louisiana's higher education system. It's critical to economic development, and yet our system is facing a "funding crisis" with no way to resolve it, the report says. The Chamber says control of tuition and fees must be returned to the higher ed governing boards.
MAY 24 Here's a NBC33 story about Tyrann Mathieu. He has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, inking a $3 million, four-year deal. He gets a signing bonus of $265K, but gets another, larger bonus if he doesn't get cut from the team for doing drugs. The deal reportedly includes mandatory tests and meetings for the player.
MAY 24 Jarvis DeBerry posts here about the redonkulus rhetoric that would have us believe NOLA is a safe city with a murder problem. Maybe the city's crime stats don't compare with its murder stats because you can't manipulate a murder, he says: a dead body's a dead body. It just doesn't make sense, he says, and his readers agree: a poll asks if they believe the city is safe, and more than 90 percent say no.
MAY 24 Jindal administration officials announced Thursday that the privatization of public health care is going to cost a lot more than they budgeted for, the Advocate reports here. "I'm so surprised," said no one. Anywhere. The cost they're projecting now is more than $1 billion - a lot more than the $626 million budgeted for it. And, it's more than it cost the state to operate those hospitals. So why are we doing this again?
MAY 24 Blogger CB Forgotston ridicules the recent PR campaign by the state GOP in the wake of a legislative auditor's request to both major parties. The GOP (apparently unaware that the Dems got the same request) started yammering about being targeted because it had "killed" a tax increase. CB finds that laughable, but it's also pretty funny that the GOP was comparing this episode to the IRS scandal (Because the President has so much to do with our state auditor. Right?).
MAY 24 Politico details some recent fund-raising efforts by Sen. David Vitter, which have raised the question of his future political plans. This time, it is a $5,000 per head "bayou weekend" that includes "Cajun cooking" and an all-caps "alligator hunt," the story reports. Funds raised go to a super PAC that can spend money to support Vitter in federal or state races, the story points out.
MAY 24 The pink building on Royal in the quarter was sold at a sheriff's sale Thursday, this Picayune story reports. An injunction that would have halted the sale wasn't enforced because the family failed to post a $150,000 bond, the story reports. So the owner of the mortgages on the building bought it, for nearly $7 million. Now the feuding family will have to negotiate with that company to get a lease on the building that has housed their business for close to 60 years.
MAY 23 This post in Louisiana Voice tells us about a bill by a Winnsboro lege that would require all public high school students to take at least one Course Choice online class in order to graduate. (What?) Blogger Tom Aswell says it's a monument to "waste and corruption," especially in light of the problems he's exposed with the program in recent weeks. Idaho had a similar program, but voters removed it by a 2-1 margin, Aswell says.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.