LAPA President:  Rev. Freddie Phillips
Louisiana Auctioneer Q & A
March 4, 2014
(Updated on April 20, 2014)


          LAPA President Rev. Freddie Phillips  


Q 1:        What ever became of the "I's here" roll call responses? 

A 1:       Rev. Phillips:  "It concluded with this letter from the Inspector General's Office to Gov. Jindal dated February 20, 2013.  However,
            LALB attorney Larry S. Bankston refused to permit me to address the matter at the January 8, 2013 LALB meeting.  Accordingly,
            I filed this lawsuit on March 6, 2013.


Q 2:        It shows LAPA Vice President Robert Burns is also a plaintiff.  What was his beef?

A 2:        Rev. Phillips:  "Mr. Bankston refused to permit Mr. Burns to address the Board regarding what he contends were illegal per diem
            payments for the Board Meeting of September 17, 2012.  Those payments were deemed illegal by the Governor's Office, and
            the Governor's Office thanked Mr. Burns for his diligence in monitoring its Executive Orders.  The Governor's Office also
            instructed the Board Members to refund the illegal payments, which they did.  Nevertheless, the litigation
            remains outstanding regarding certain Board Members (Steinkamp, Sims, and former Member Bordelon) refusing to permit
            Burns to address the issue at the January 8, 2013 LALB meeting."



Q 3:        You mentioned FORMER Board Member Bordelon.  What led to his LALB Membership being severed?

A 3:        Rev. Phillips:  "No official word has been conveyed; however, his "I's here, too" roll call response (and his
            subsequent denial of it in this Advocate article of December 22, 2012) likely didn't help his LALB standing any." 



Q 4:        Speaking of lawsuits, can you provide a quick rundown of each and where it stands?

A 4:        Rev. Phillips:  "Sure.  Here's a recap:

            "I's here suit:"

                    2 Dilatory Exception Hearings Held.  On April 3, 2014 Judge Hernandez DENIED defendants' exception, so an answer should
                    be forthcoming from defendants.

            Executive Session lawsuit for 9/17/12 LALB v. Burns hearing:

                    Trial conducted on April 9, 2014.  Although the case was dismissed, LAPA Vice President Burns plans to appeal Judge
                    Fields' ruling to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

            Burns Defamation lawsuit entailing Anna Dow and Louisiana State Police Terrorism Unit called to Burns' home.

                    Discovery ongoing."


Q 5:        Did we hear reference to a third attorney hired by the LALB, Shows, Cali?

A 5:        Rev. Phillips:  "Yes, and our efforts regarding obtaining invoices for services performed by Shows, Cali have been 
            fruitless.  It's possible that Shows, Cali, a firm that obtains most of the contracts awarded by AG Buddy Caldwell
            may have agreed to perform their brief services at no charge (or the AG's Office "ate" the charges) as a result of
            past questionable guidance provided by the AG's office (specifically Michael Vallan's erroneous guidance regarding
            Louisiana's Open Meetings Laws and Lindsey Hunter's ill-advised guidance to pursue 19th JDC action against LAPA
            Vice President Robert Burns' walking out of an LALB hearing after being called upon to testify when he LALB had
            issued no subpoena - BOTH these actions by Louisiana AG Buddy Caldwell's Office cost the LALB dearly in outside
            legal fees).



Q 6:        Can you provide the legal fees for 2013 for Bankston and Dow?

A  6:       Rev. Phillips:   "Yes.  Bankston's legal fees totaled $24,099.48 while Dow's totaled $17,449.46 (of which $3,453.01 were
            for subcontracted investigative work).  The total of the two is $41,548.94, but remember that we do not have the figures
            for Shows, Cali, so this total is below what the final figure will be (or is).  Mr. Bankston's cumulative legal billings total $33,837.43.



Q 7:        So the auctioneers have essentially covered Mr. Bankston's fine associated with his felony conviction?  Aren't these legal fees
            far larger than in past years?

A 7:        Rev. Phillips:  "Yes and yes.  Mr. Bankston's fine associated with his  felony conviction was $20,000, so it has now been covered
            by Louisiana auctioneers.  Historical legal fees for the LALB used to run from $8,000 - $15,000 annually, so clearly last year's
            legal fees of almost $42,000 (exclusive of Shows, Cali) vastly exceed charges for previous years.  Basically the days of $8,000 -
            $15,000 in annual LALB legal fees are likely gone for the foreseeable future." 



Q 8:        You said the "foreseeable future."  Do you anticipate MORE lawsuits? 

A 8:        Rev. Phillips:  "Lawsuits have arisen in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.  We'll have to see on 2014, but if the LALB continues to show
            disregard for Louisiana's Open Meetings laws, more lawsuits will inevitably follow." 



Q 9:        What's the situation regarding LAPA's requested agenda item for Louisiana-based licensees to be able to renew their
            licenses for a mere $5 processing fee in 2015?

A 9:        Rev. Phillips:  "That is an item I have requested for the March 11, 2014 meeting.  More details are available at this link."



Q 10:        Getting back to Mr. Bankston, we've heard he now has his own "embarrassment page" on LAPA's website.  Correct?

A 10:        Rev. Phillips:  "Yes, feel free to visit it at this link.  The alphabetical master index of LALB embarrassments listed
                by Board Member or affiliate is always available at this link."


Q 11:        What's this about a sales tax lawsuit shown on Jeff Henderson's page?  Has that been resolved through the recent
ax amnesty program?

A 11:         Rev. Phillips:  "J. A. H. Enterprises d/b/a Henderson Auctions is indeed being sued by the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
                A review of the lawsuit file conducted by LAPA on February 25, 2014 showed that the LA Revenue Department filed a
                Motion for Summary Judgment (means they assert no issue of material fact exists and the Department therefore seeks
                a court-ordered judgment in its favor without the need for a trial).  J. A. H. Enterprises filed
                this Memorandum Opposing the Department's Summary Judgment Motion.  As of 2/25/14, the file did not indicate
                whether the Motion for Summary Judgment, which was scheduled for January 13, 2014, was granted or denied.
                If granted, presumably a Judgment will soon be filed into the record.  If denied, the litigation remains outstanding.
                Either way, it does not appear Henderson Auctions availed itself of any benefit offered by the tax amnesty program."

Q 12:      Wasn't there a small-time auctioneer the LALB was trying to jam for alleged non-payment of Calcasieu Parish sales taxes?
                What ever happened with that?

A 12:      Rev. Phillips:  "Yes.  The Board was actively trying to jam auctioneer Kathleen "Sue" White; however, once LAPA Vice
                President Robert Burns subtly introduced Marvin Henderson's sales tax issues (see 2nd to last video on prior link), the
                Board suddenly lost all interest in pursuing Kathleen "Sue" White."


Q 13:       What about auctioneers?  Is there a listing for issues concerning them?

A 13:       Rev. Phillips:  "Certainly!  It's readily available at this link."


Q 14:        Any action ever taken regarding the whole New Orleans Auction Gallery (NOAG) / Tessa Steinkamp fiasco?

A 14:       Rev. Phillips:  "No.  The corruption chronicle remains available at this link.  As LAPA has pointed out before
            Ms. Steinkamp was identified at the bottom of page two on this link as the VP, Sec., Treasurer, and Director of NOAG,
            When I was on the Board, I attempted to address a lawsuit filed in January of 2010 by Massoud Pouratian, who alleges
            to have been victimized for $114,000 in bidding on fake paintings which  arrived with CHRISTIE'S REJECTION STICKERS
            on them.  The result?  Ms. Steikcamp threatened my license.   LAPA has recently examined historical problems associated
            with NOAG, and we will update NOAG's webpage accordingly in the near future."



Q 15:       Is it true you have filed a complaint with the Louisiana Attorney General's Office regarding the LALB's refusal to
            place a link for LAPA on its website? 

A 15:       Rev. Phillips:  "Yes.  Full details on the entirety of that matter are available at this link."



Q 16:        What about CE?  We heard there was a push to restore it.  Was there? Where does it stand?

A 16:       Rev. Phillips:  "Mr. Wiley Collins, soon after being elected President of the LAA, did make an appeal before the LALB
            to restore CE.  You can see his presentation this link.  Since that time, Mr. Collins has not appeared before the LALB
            to follow up on his stated intent to present a firm proposal to reinstate CE in Louisiana."



Q 17:        Didn't Mr. Collins also have some less-than-flattering commentary about LAPA at that same meeting? 

A 17:       Rev. Phillips:  "Yes.  Anyone is free to view his commentary at this link."



Q 18:        What about Ms. Edmonds' payroll problems.  Have they been discussed publicly by the Board?

A 18:       Rev. Phillips:  "The Inspector General's Office issued this report December 9, 2013.  In it, they indicated Ms. Edmonds
            is frequently on the LALB (& IDB) payroll "performing no public purpose."  They also cited out-of-state vacations Ms. Edmonds
            has taken (for BOTH Boards) while reporting being "on the clock."  They also indicated that she lied to investigators with the
            IG's office when questioned about the practice.  For her deceit, the IG recommended 'appropriate disciplinary action, up to
            and including termination.'  Nevertheless, neither Board has opted to address the matter in any formal manner at a
            Board Meeting, nor has it been placed on either Board's agenda for discussion."



Q 19:        Care to share with us what you discussed with Gov. Jindal about 60 days ago?

A 19:      Rev. Phillips:   "I did chat with Gov. Jindal in early January of this year.  Out of respect for our discussions and anything his
            office may have in the works regarding the LALB, I will refrain from elaborating on specifics of our discussions." 



Q 20:        When you said last year that many things were happening "behind he scenes" on LAPA's website, you weren't kidding, huh?

A 20:        Rev. Phillips:  "No, and we've been delighted with the feedback we've gotten, especially from consumers.  Furthermore, I have
                no intention whatsoever to back down from what I believe is an indefensible stand on the part of the LALB regarding a LAPA
                link.  Stay tuned, folks.  More litigation may very well be on the way in coming weeks and months."




To return to LAPA's Index Page of Auctioneer Issues Discussions by the LALB,  CLICK HERE