INDIVIDUAL LICENSEE ISSUES:
Jones - Mississippi
(Durham Auction - Mississippi)
Durham Auction was already in serious, serious trouble with Mississippi licensing authorities even before being charged with embezzlement pertaining to a June 28, 2008 auction for the City of Kenner, at which Kenner was fleeced out of over $500,000. The Kenner auction would not have been possible without Durham partnering with William Jones, who had falsely portrayed himself as a Louisiana auctioneer when, in reality, he resided in Mississippi (he was claiming LA residency to Louisiana officials and MS residence to MS licensing officials).
One of the principals of Durham Auction, Jim Durham, was sentenced to nine (9) years in prison for his conviction on four (4) felony counts of passing bad checks and failing to use the consignor escrow account to pay consignors but instead diverting the money to other uses (as with the City of Kenner auction above); however, the Mississippi State Court of Appeals granted Mr. Durham a new trial in late 2011.
June 16, 2010:
Concerned about the residency issues of William Jones, LAPA Vice President Robert Burns, during the waning months of his tenure as an LALB Member, inquired of LALB Executive Assistant Sandy Edmonds about the status of Mr. Jones and how his eight (8) years of deceiving the Board on his Louisiana residency was handled. Mr. Burns had already obtained a copy of this letter dated February 3, 2009 to Mr. Jones' attorney from LALB attorney Anna Dow (which vaguely references Mr. Jones' "other problem"), wherein Ms. Dow said that, if Mr. Jones would merely pay the license fee he otherwise would have paid, his license would be renewed. Ms. Dow further relayed that, "I will prepare a stipulation to go before the Board;" however, Ms. Dow did NOT prepare such a stipulation, and instead the license was issued without ANY penalty whatsoever for Mr. Jones' eight years of residency deceit! Of course, as evidenced by his letter of March 5, 2009, Mr. Jones wasted no time accepting Ms. Dow's generous offer!!
When LAPA Vice President Robert Burns further delved into the issue with Ms. Edmonds, she responded back by stating that, "Anna was never formally involved. Sherrie [Wilks, former long-time LALB Executive Director[ handled it." So, apparently the letter referenced above is a figment of the imagination of anyone who clicks on it and reads it because, according to Ms. Edmonds statement of Ms. Dow's involvement, it was nonexistent!
Quite possibly as a result of Burns' relentless focus on items such as the William Jones situation above, combined with his adamant stands against SHILL BIDDING (as evidenced by the 2nd audio clip on this link), and his steadfast opposition to the reinstatement of the auction license of Ken Buhler, Gov. Jindal's office received this letter dated 8/30/10 from Rep. John E. "Johnny" Guinn seeking Burns' ouster from the LALB. Gov. Jindal obliged 10 days later and, on September 10, 2010 (his 47th birthday!) terminated Burns' services on the LALB.
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