Youngsville has selected yet another interim member of the Youngsville City Council. Well ahead of the meeting, word had spread that of the nine applicants, Jamie Creed (R 5/10) would be appointed. This appears to be another sign of an open meetings violation. It’s the same kind of violation Rickey Boudreaux accused the Council of engaging in back in March. The reason for Creed’s appointment? We need to diversify the Council following the removal of Gabe Thompson as Interim Chief. This may explain why the City Council authorized the Mayor to spend an additional $60,924.00 in advertising this year. Could this be a public relations scheme to overcome all the bad press? After all, everyone needs to know just how great the City of Youngsville is. But the actions of the elected officials continue to prove otherwise.
Creed replaces Ken Stansbury (R 6/10), who resigned after successfully winning the election for a seat on the Parish Council; replacing Josh Carlson (R 9/10). Carlson did not seek reelection to the Parish Council. Instead, he successfully won a bid for a seat in the Louisiana legislature. With the selection of Creed, the Council for the City of Youngsville has officially become a majority-minority board, with three of the five seats being held by women. Creed herself may be the first racial minority to serve on the Council (we are trying to confirm that). But the “creed” we are focusing on today is not the new Councilwoman. Rather, corruption and concealment – the true creed of the Youngsville political class.
A Progressive City
Youngsville officials seem to love it when their municipality is referred to as “progressive.” Yes, they all claim to be “conservative,” but there do appear to be plenty of progressive types holding office. However, when they use the term “progressive” they say it refers to how forward-thinking they are. It’s about how much more advanced they are from other municipalities in the area.
One could argue that the City of Youngsville has been a leader. They were defunding the police years before the “defund the police” movement had sprung into existence. After all, in 2012 they pushed to reallocate funds collected from the 1981 sales tax, a tax passed specifically and solely to fund the police, away from the police department. Then in 2014 they permanently rededicated the funds away from the police department. Today, the police department is funded by a 1/2 cent dedicated sales tax while the Sports Complex is funded by a 1 cent dedicated sales tax. As a result of the defunding effort from over a decade ago, police pay in the City of Youngsville struggles to keep up with other surrounding communities.
You could also say they are pretty creative (or progressive) when it comes to how well they tend to cover up their involvement in things. We’ve already discussed open meetings violations. However, for today, let’s focus on another enterprise: ticket fixing.
Impeding access to public records
Article 12, Section 3 of the Louisiana Constitution states “No person shall be denied the right to observe the deliberations of public bodies and examine public documents, except in cases established by law.” Perhaps the word “promptly” should be inserted in there. It sure would be nice to be able to “promptly examine public documents.” After all, how can one intelligently participate in the affairs of their own government without timely access to information? However, “promptly” would just be another word for lawyers to argue over and redefine.
“Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.” – Sid Meier
Recently the City of Youngsville employed additional attorneys to resolve outstanding and future public records requests. Previously, Wade Trahan, the City Attorney, was exclusively responsible. However, we were informed recently that three additional law firms will now be addressing these requests. There is now one law firm each for the City of Youngsville, the Youngsville Police Chief, and the Youngsville Municipal Police Civil Service Board. Perhaps this explains the reason for the substantial (330.7%) increase in legal fees budgeted for this year. That’s $152,522.00 compared to the $34,686.00 spent in the previous fiscal year.
Whether or not this change is a further effort to impede public access remains to be seen. As it stands today, we are still awaiting responses to requests dating back to April of 2023. These delays only serve to put Youngsville back in the spotlight every single time a new piece of information trickles in. It’s almost as if Youngsville officials are choosing to put themselves through a form of Chinese water torture. While these delay tactics may dissuade an average citizen, they make us more curious and determined.
In March of 2023, Rickey Boudreaux made it known that every single member of the Council had requested and received special favors. Although he didn’t specifically say it, from the text messages we received it’s clear those favors included illegal requests to cancel traffic citations. Messages to Boudreaux from Councilmen Simone Champagne, Ken Stansbury, Lindy Bolgiano and Matt Romero confirm this. Louisiana Revised Statute 32:398.3 makes it a crime to cancel or even ask for the cancellation of a traffic citation:
“Any person who cancels or solicits the cancellation of any traffic citation, in any manner other than as provided in this Part, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months or both.”
But those are just words someone in the legislature crafted decades ago. They are worthless without law enforcement officials and prosecutors willing to do something. And how motivated would you be if you knew your name was going to be disclosed? It’s like that scene from the movie “The Untouchables” where Elliot Ness tells how he got the Judge to change his mind by telling him his name was also on Al Capone’s ledger.
On October 3, 2023, When we requested communication between Boudreaux and others, we were shocked at the response. Initially, we were told, “As far [as text] messages, the former Chief used a personal cell phone and you would have to go another route to find what you are looking for.” Yes, it is shocking but we weren’t even slightly surprised.
“Text messages and other documents on a cell phone prepared, possessed or used for the conduct of any official business of the public body is public record. It makes no difference whether that is a privately owned or publicly owned cell phone. The public body is the City of Youngsville (more specifically the Youngsville Police Department). It is the duty of all persons and public bodies to preserve public record. While Boudreaux was the prior custodian of records, Cody Louviere, whether de facto or de jure, is the current custodian of records for the City of Youngsville Police Department. In so much as Boudreaux took records from the department when he resigned, it seems to me that the City of Youngsville should demand the return of such records. We would like to believe Boudreaux has no intention to permanently deprive the City of Youngsville or the public of those records. Afterall, the intentional removal, mutilation, destruction, alteration, falsification or concealment of a public record constitutes a crime.”
In response, we learned that many of these public records MAY HAVE BEEN STOLEN, but not by Boudreaux. As it turns out, the day following Boudreaux’s August 9, 2023, announcement that he was resigning, both his cell phone and his laptop were allegedly stolen. What are the odds?
That door swings both ways
The funny thing about communication is it’s two-way. Just because one party loses, destroys, or conceals the message doesn’t mean another party doesn’t have it. In fact, for months, we’ve been sitting on similar communication fragments (originating in Youngsville) regarding a conspiracy to unseat Robert Judge from the Lafayette Library Board of Control. We probably need to get to those at some point.
As a result of the “theft,” Boudreaux’s messages are supposedly gone forever. But are they? Ultimately, we were still able to obtain these messages from other parties. Based on those documents and other information we learned of a secret ledger, like the one Al Capone kept. When Boudreaux received a request for “special consideration” related to traffic citations, he would notify a Records Clerk at the Police Department that he (Boudreaux, not the prosecutor) didn’t want to be prosecuted. The clerk would keep a record of it and the citation wouldn’t progress. It was N/P’d (or nolle prossed). Fixed. Canceled. Nixed. Kaboshed.
Those messages between Boudreaux and the Clerk reveal the sources of the original requests. Ranging from State Legislators, Sheriffs (Mark Garber, Mike Couvillion and K.P Gibson), Mayors and former Mayors, councilmen, financial auditors for the City, and other public officials.
The Clerk also kept a log of these requests, which numbers in the thousands (2,913 give or take a dozen). That log was then concealed under the guise of being protected by “attorney-client privilege.” There’s only one problem.
Attorney-client privilege doesn’t cover criminal acts
Under the Louisiana Code of Evidence Article 506:
“There is no privilege under this Article as to a communication:
(1)(a) If the services of the lawyer were sought or obtained to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit what the client or his representative knew or reasonably should have known to be a crime or fraud.
(b) Made in furtherance of a crime or fraud.
We bet no attorney will be stepping up to defend this as privileged information. If they do, bless their heart!
Perhaps the criminal investigation the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office indicated that they were conducting when they arrived at the Youngsville Police Department on August 25, 2023, the day after Chief Cody Louviere took office, has less to do with investigating and more to do with a cover up?
As far as Creed and the newly elected Councilwoman Shannon Bares (R 5/10), both of their names appear on the ledger as well. That is right! We now AGAIN, have an entire Council which has engaged in the ticket fixing scheme. But don’t take our word for it. You can look at the court records for the two new councilmen here for yourself [Creed Records] [Bares records]. Residents of Youngsville, did you really expect the corrupt machine to reform itself? New faces, old games!