January 13, 2015 Louisiana Auctioneers
Licensing Board (LALB) Meeting Highlights
CLICK HERE to View LALB Financial Statements @ Time of Meeting
Mark Brister, who expressed frustration at the LALB meeting of 11/5/14 regarding
the imposition of a $2,500 fine and insisting that he utilize a business license and licensed
auctioneer during a six-month suspension of his license, sought reconsideration. A perfect analogy is
that of a famous televangelist in 1988, Jimmy Swaggart, rebuffing the National Assemblies
of God's banning him from the pulpit for a year. Similarly, the LALB banned Brister from
the auctioneer stand for six (6) months, but Brister, at the 7:45 mark above,
relayed (just as Swaggart did), that is was critical that HE be behind the auction
stand, less his entire business operation collapse (pretty similar to Swaggart's contention
that Jimmy Swaggart Ministries would similarly collapse if he stayed out of the pulpit for a
year). In fact, beginning at the 8:26 mark, Mr. Brister stated, "an opportunity has come along that
may make me a millionaire overnight, but it can't happen unless I'm behind the auction stand."
Perhaps such a gigantic windfall, should it materialize, may enable Brister to pay many of his
unsecured creditors after his recent bankruptcy filing. Unlike the National Assemblies of God, which
held firm on the one-year ban on Swaggart regarding the pulpit, the LALB caved and granted
Mr. Brister immediate authority to return to the auctioneer stand subject to restrictions imposed and an
increase in his fine from $2,500 to $4,000. To see the entirety of the Mark Brister / LALB saga, CLICK HERE.
LALB Attorney Larry S. Bankston, almost certainly at the urging of Executive Assistant
Sandy Edmonds, who has previously been cited by the Office of Inspector General
for payroll fraud, advises Board Members to resist LAPA Vice President
Robert Burns' project to inspect ALL auctioneer files over a 3-4 year period.
Mr. Bankston's performance prompted Burns to author this Louisiana Voice article which
was distributed out to the approximate 3,000 subscribers the next day. On 2/16/15, Louisiana Voice
founder Tom Aswell drafted an extensive article which referenced AG James "Buddy" Caldwell's
lack of aggression on pursuing such blatant efforts as those of Mr. Bankston to block public transparency.
The following material is an except from Mr. Aswell's 2/16/15 post (bold and red emphasis is LAPA's):
From: “Martiny, Sen. (Chamber Laptop)” <email@example.com>
To: “C.B. Forgotston” Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2015 16:16:34 -0600 Subject:
Re: Where’s Buddy?
Take me off your list until u do something positive about anyone.
Martiny was responding to Forgotston’s “Where’s Buddy”
post in which he took Attorney
General Buddy Caldwell to task for the AG’s reluctance to do his job in telling the Caddo Parish
Commissioners they are in violation of the Louisiana State Constitution by virtue of their
illegal participation in the Caddo Parish retirement system. Forgotston noted that Legislative Auditor Daryl
Purpera has done his job in saying commissioners’ participation in the retirement system is illegal but
Caldwell, as has been his M.O. since taking office, has been strangely quiet on public corruption.
And while there is certainly nothing wrong in going after free-lance pharmaceutical salesmen
(drug dealers), child pornographers and the like, Caldwell has displayed an obvious dislike
for making waves in the political waters and has steadfastly run from public corruption cases.
And we know that while the 1974 State Constitution took much of the prosecutorial duties
from the attorney general, the AG is still the legal adviser for all state agencies and if nothing else,
Caldwell should step forward and whisper in officials’ ears when they are seen skirting
the edge of the law. (Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols’ open violation of the state’s
public records law comes immediately to mind. So does Auctioneer Board attorney Larry
Bankston’s advice to the board to actually refuse to release public records.)
LAPA Vice President Robert Burns supplied Ms.
Emalie Boyce of AG Buddy Caldwell's office with the preceding excerpt by
Tom Aswell, and the NEXT DAY he received notice from Bankston that his 2nd set of 10 auctioneer files were ready for
inspection. Should the LALB follow through on Bankston's guidance, several attorneys are salivating at suing over such
an action on the LALB's part. Mr. Bankston did make it clear that, despite previous correspondence from his office
indicating Edmonds was custodian of records (and thus subject to $100/day fine for public records delays), it is actually
Board Chairman Tessa Steinkamp who holds that designation and would be liable for any unreasonable public records inspections delays.
Fasola appears before the LALB to refute a number of inaccuracies she detected
at the 11/5/14
LALB meeting regarding auctioneer Ken Buhler's license. She also continues to
appeal to the Board to file a bond claim on her behalf and states that, if such isn't done, the Board may face
yet another lawsuit from her filed by her attorney, Mike Davis. Interestingly enough, the LALB indicated during the Brister
hearing above that a claim was filed against Brister regarding the bank and failure to satisfy a security agreement
entailing a man lift sold to an innocent third party buyer.
LAPA Vice President Robert Burns addresses the Board and states that the increase in
Jim Steele (LALB investigator)'s contract rate from $25/hour to $40/hour should have
been separately approved and not buried in Board Attorney Anna Dow's
contract renewal. Burns further relays that future lawsuits he may file will entail an attorney as a
result of his extensive time constraints entailing him serving as an investigative reporter
for Louisiana Voice. Burns specifically references a 50-hour time investment
regarding highly questionable practices of Orleans Parish Assessor Erroll Williams. Soon
after the 1/13/15 LALB meeting, Burns authored another article, this time focusing on
extensive alleged corruption in Livingston Parish originating from the FEMA appeals
hearing regarding cleanup costs pertaining to Hurricane Gustav of September 1, 2008. FEMA
denied Livingston Parish's claims for reimbursement based largely upon undercover FBI informant
Corey delaHoussaye and, in the article, Burns openly questions the motives of Livingston
Parish DA Scott Perrilloux for pursuing only delaHoussaye and ignoring all of the alleged
corrupt activities he reported to the FBI during Gustav cleanup.
LAPA President Rev. Freddie Lee Phillips emphasizes his resolve to seek FULL LALB transparency and his
hope that the Board will be more facilitating in that regard.
CLICK HERE to return to the chronological master listing of LALB videos.