Allegations of illegal political contributions by the La. State Police Association, sale of alcohol at the La. State Police Training Center and threats to release information damaging to his family are part of a suit filed in District Court May 10 by Calvin W. Braxton Sr., of Natchitoches.
Braxton is seeking damages from the La. State Troopers Association (LSTA) and Jay Oliphant, a La. State Police major over Region 3.
The suit alleges that statements by LSTA and Oliphant were made with malice and are defamatory. It states that while Braxton was on the State Police Commission, he became aware that classified members of the LSP were making political contributions through the troopers association which is prohibited by State statutes.
In 2016, Braxton, as a member of the commission, began an investigation of the political activities. In 2016, he witnessed the sale of alcohol at the La. State Police Training Center and reported the alleged activity to members of the State Police.
Braxton believes he was subjected to retaliation and was told by counsel to the Commission that if he did not resign from the commission, LSTA would release damaging information about him and his family.
The suit alleges that activity by Oliphant began after Braxton’s daughter was arrested by a trooper in Natchitoches Parish and charged with DWI first offense, Dec. 4, 2015. The suit says she participated in a pretrial diversion program that she completed through the District Attorney’s Office.
But in June, 2016, six months after her arrest, the suit says Oliphant authored an incident report accusing Braxton of committing public intimidation, threatening an officer and interfering with an investigation. The suit alleges that Oliphant prepared the report at the request of LSTA to humiliate Braxton and retaliate against him for reporting the alleged illegal activities of the LSPA.
The suit says LSTA issued a letter dated June 19, 2017, accusing Braxton of several crimes and sought prosecution.
Braxton says the letter was false and defamatory and LSTA and Oliphant are liable.
Braxton also claims that statements made in a Facebook post by Oliphant are false and defamatory. It reads, in part, “…over the last few months, I’ve been subjected to personal attacks, purely due to an ethical decision I made in Dec. 2015. During that time, I refused to succumb to threats and intimidation from a local Natchitoches businessman, whose daughter was arrested by an officer under my command. Sometime between then and now, this local businessman has allegedly hired private investigators or “someone” to follow me and watch my every move. I have observed a suspicious vehicle(s) near my residence, which have been confirmed to have a direct connection with this local and wealthy businessman. I must admit, as calm and collective as I’ve tried to be throughout my life, this one has me concerned simply due to safety reasons…I have recently been advised, this individual has been in contact with various media outlets, pressuring them to release coverage, indicating he has “proof” that I have committed or have been committing some form of payroll fraud. This is a clear and obvious attempt to continue to intimidate and retaliate against me for not giving him what he wanted. In that, I adamantly refused to reassign and/or relocate the officer who arrested his daughter. Due to the decision I made in Dec. 2015, not only am I still paying for it, but the arresting officer is as well…”
Braxton is represented by Jill L. Craft and W. Brett Conrad of Baton Rouge.