May 5, 2015 Louisiana Auctioneers
Licensing Board (LALB) Meeting Highlights
CLICK HERE to View LALB Financial Statements @ Time of Meeting
LALB v. Bobby Manuel (see commentary below)
In the early portion of the video, both LAPA Vice President Robert Burns and LAPA President Rev. Freddie Lee Phillips express their sincere desire that this hearing entail something more serious than "a couple of chickens and a few rabbits." Burns references that's the only time Bobby Manuel's name has EVER been referenced previously by the LALB, and even then it was with him serving as the licensed auctioneer for Wade Deshotels, who was literally auctioning a few chickens and rabbits using Manuel's services (LALB informed Manuel he'd have to handle all money, which he did). Predictably, this hearing entailed a matter OVER TWO YEARS OLD entailing a single $25 dresser for which Manuel testified he offered a full refund. Chet Simpson, lead witness for the LALB and prosecutor Anna Dow, testified that he felt the complainant (who was UNWILLING TO EVEN ATTEND!!!!) was a "nut," and that Manuel had "done nothing wrong."
On November 5, 2012, LALB Vice Chairman James Sims called Chairman Steinkamp on the carpet for his assertion that she was conducting "witch hunts." He indicated he wasn't going to tolerate it going forward and that he (along with all other board members) wanted to review prospective hearings before they transpired. Given that the LALB dismissed this matter as essentially being a "witch hunt," why was the matter even permitted to be brought before the LALB as a full-blown hearing in the first place? Perhaps to maximize the billings of Anna Dow and investigator Jim Steele (as suggested by LAPA President Rev. Phillips)?
It truly is amazing that LALB Chairman Tessa Steinkamp permits a full-blown hearing on a $25 dresser, but she ignored for years this lawsuit filed by Massoud Pouratian in which paintings were auctioned off by New Orleans Auction Galleries (NOAG) which were forgeries for six-figure amounts that were essentially worthless. Despite her position as then-Vice Chairman of the LALB and her holding the positions of Director, Vice President, and TREASURER of NOAG, Steinkamp never saw fit to alert the LALB of the extensive egregious auction statute violations at NOAG prior to its 4/1/11 bankruptcy (yet she admitted on videotape that she knew full well of the preceding lawsuit and that it was "not relevant"!). Consequently, consignors and bidders continued to suffer massive losses. For example, Danny Pun was victimized for over $100,000 at the LAST auction NOAG conducted before filing bankruptcy when he bid on a fake chicken blood stone and a table which were worth a tiny fraction of the approximate $130,000 he bid for the two items.
Incredibly, while Steinkamp kept quiet about all the statute violations at NOAG, she openly threatened LAPA President (and then-fellow Board Member) Rev. Freddie Lee Phillips' auction license when he attempted to reference the problems at NOAG. She SHOULD have recused herself from even speaking on the matter; however, LALB attorney Anna Dow (who herself crossed way, way, way over the line in essentially becoming Steinkamp's and NOAG's de facto defense attorney) had prepped her for an anticipated attack by Phillips.
This type of rampant corruption on the part of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's appointees is largely responsible for his fruitless bid to become President of the United States (not that he hasn't self-imploded with tons of other episodes in which he's made a complete fool of himself over and over again that also doom his Presidential bid).
LAPA Vice President Robert Burns emphasizes that, pursuant to oral arguments
before the First Circuit Court of Appeals, an LALB hearing DEFINITELY constitutes
a meeting of the board. Thus, Burns states that a period of public comment is
REQUIRED. Burns also speaks on the approval of the attorneys' contracts.
LAPA President Rev. Freddie Lee Phillips makes public
comment seeking increased transparency on the part of the LALB
and openly questioning how the board can justify continuing
to employ two attorneys on such a small board.
Discussion of license application for convicted felon
Michael Bruner. Board Member Darlene Jacobs-Levy
voted "no." After the meeting, Burns reminded Jacobs-Levy
that she'd supported hiring convicted felon Larry S. Bankston.
In fact, she even FALSELY stated that he "has no baggage" and has,
"never been censured by any court that I'm aware of," when, in reality,
Bankston's law license was revoked by the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Burns asked Jacobs-Levy how she could reconcile voting to oppose Bruner yet
voting to support Bankston's hiring. Her response? "That's different."
As governmental watchdog C. B. Forgotston is fond of saying, "you
can't make this stuff up, folks!!"
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