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March 2023

March LPL Board of Control Meeting

After January and February's fireworks, March's meeting seemed tame by comparison, though it still clocked in at over 3 1/2 hours long. Of particular note were the missing security guards. Did they disappear as the result of the lawsuit filed against Mr. Judge and LCG by myself and Melanie Brevis? Seems like the the most obvious answer. Whatever the reason, speaking without the threat of being hauled off in handcuffs was a welcome change. It remains to be seen whether that change will be permanent. We take our small victories where we can get them these days.

Those Prayers

When viewing the meeting video, the overblown and performative nature of the Christian prayers at the beginning of the meeting stands out. Of course, this is not by accident, and is a policy that was implemented by Mr. Judge when he became board president - including his repeated refusal to let anyone of another faith or creed lead a prayer (a blatant violation of the Supreme Court ruling on the matter). What you can't see in the video is the fact that every month a large number of citizens protest his actions by refusing to stand for his prayer. We continue to resist in large and small ways every infringement upon our constitutional rights.

Amendment of the Minutes

Despite the continuing destruction wreaked upon our library on an almost daily basis, we do occasionally have victories. One came this month in the form of an amendment to February's minutes. In accordance with policy, Director Danny Gillane acts as secretary for the board and every month records the minutes; however, he NEVER seems to record anything negative about Robert Judge or the misdeeds of the board. Last month, for example, nothing was in the minutes about Melanie getting escorted from the meeting by armed sheriff's deputies. Nothing. When board member Joan Wingate (one of the last remaining board members from the time before the Nat-C takeover) made a motion to include that information, she couldn't even get a second. This month, once again, no mention was made in the minutes of Mr. Judge's stunt, whereby he ordered Director of Operations Larry Angelle to project onto the screen explicit images from adult graphic novels (Judge attempting to pass them off as children's books) in order to cause a disturbance at the meeting. So, as before, I offered language to add to the minutes describing the incident, and Joan Wingate made a motion to accept that language. Judge tried every parliamentary maneuver he could think of to defeat Joan's motion, but, miracle of miracles, it passed anyway. Truth is truth, after all. So, if nothing else, the minutes from February accurately reflect what happened. It's in the permanent record, despite Judge's attempts to keep it out, and Danny's obsequious failure to include it.

The Discard Policy. Again.

Another small win, at least in the short term: the  changes to the Discard policy were tabled for now. Turns out the proposed policy (there was only a procedure before) was cooked up by Danny Gillane and staff in what seems like yet another misguided attempt to circumvent the board's continued meddling into library operations (in this case, Stephanie Armbruster, who has an unhealthy obsession with the book discards). Of course, we know from experience that this NEVER WORKS. Ms. Armbruster immediately began to indicate her displeasure with this new policy, and began working out ways the board could have a hand in overseeing the new monthly discards, despite Mr. Gillane's attempts to placate her with a a mostly "automated" system. It quickly became apparent that Mr. Gillane's new policy would not satisfy a board OBSESSED with micromanaging this library's operations, and the board decided to table the proposition until a better policy could be devised. Hopefully that will be...a while, though of course that's hard to say. It could very well show up on the agenda next month - with a policy completely rewritten by Judge and Armbruster into a form MUCH worse than anything we might have had if Mr. Gillane had just left things alone. 

There followed a lengthy Executive Session regarding the lawsuit. I won't speculate about what was discussed there.

The EV Chargers, or, This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Finally came closing comments. Many of the same issues were touched on that are brought up at every meeting. However, several people focused their comments on the fact that earlier in the month Mr. Gillane had turned off the EV chargers at the West Regional Library in Scott.  Judge repeated the claim that he had nothing to do with the decision, saying he only "did legal research" on the matter. This, even though he has a history of stating the library has no business having them. No, really, a long history of it.

In his explanation, Judge referenced the "Cabela's test," a legal test developed by the AG based on the Louisiana Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution. The Cabela's test has three parts, and helps to make the determination as to whether public funds can be used to pay for something, be it salaries, office supplies, or even the LCG employee's coffee.


At the meeting, Judge spoke condescendingly to the audience, saying he had reviewed Danny's decision in light of the Cabela's test, and determined that the chargers were illegal. Period. Therefore Danny was correct in turning them off. We believe he was dead wrong. As the AG's opinion makes clear, the EV chargers at West CLEARLY pass all three parts of the Cabela's Test:

  1. The expenditure or transfer must be for a public purpose that comports with the governmental purpose which the entity has legal authority to pursue;  

  2. The expenditure or transfer of public funds or property, taken as a whole, does not appear to be gratuitous; and

  3. Evidence must demonstrate that the public entity has a demonstrable, objective, and reasonable expectation of receiving a benefit or value at least equivalent to the amount expended or transferred.   


People who use the electric chargers come to the library and stay while they do so. They use the library's services while there. It's no different than if they were charging their laptops, phones, or making copies, all of which use electricity and are "free" items under the same subset of services.


But hey, when you hold a petty dictatorship, you get to make the laws, especially when the Parish Council backs you up.

Pre-Meeting Analysis

Agenda HERE

February's Minutes HERE

New Proposed Discard Policy HERE

Agenda Analysis/Talking Points For Those Who Wish to Speak:

  • Minutes of the February Meeting -

    • the minutes as written simply state "The meeting was recessed for ten minutes." This should be amended to state that the meeting was recessed because Robert Judge ordered a library employee to project images from books that disrupted the room and interrupted the conducting of business by the library board of control.

  • Proposed Discard Policy-

    • Until now, discards have been handled by library staff; the library board's involvement has consisted of simply approving the discards each month. This is a formality, really - City-Parish ordinances require the Parish Council to approve the disposal of all public property, and a number of years ago the councils voted to allow the library board to approve book discards as a way to expedite the process rather than take up an agenda item every month. Over the past couple of years, however, board member Stephanie Armbruster has continually questioned both the procedure and the number of discards. Her questions usually center around the reason for the discards - are they being discarded because of condition or because they were "obsolete?" Having a penchant for ultra-right wing conspiracy theories coupled with no training whatsoever in library science, she seemed to be implying that the library was deliberately discarding books for nefarious purposes - possibly to get rid of conservative titles. Now, of course, her time has come, and with a majority of votes on the board and a president who aims to turn our public library into some sort of ecclesiastical annex, she's written a new discard policy to be voted on. Our position is twofold: 1) We not NEED a discard policy, as the procedure followed by our trained library staff has and is working just fine. This is yet another example of the board attempting to micromanage library operations in a way that is not only unnecessary, but prohibitive. Limiting discards by forcing staff to perform calculations and count books will waste more staff hours and goes against established principles of library science. 2) What Ms. Armbruster is suggesting may, in fact, be illegal because it is breaking city-parish ordinances. Has anyone even checked to see if the Board of Control has the authority to set limits on the disposition of city-parish property or alter the original agreement made with the Parish Council?

  • Any Other Matter Not on This Agenda

    • Last Month's Changes to Collection Development​

      • It's clear by reading the minutes and the new LPL Collection Development Policy that the board did not understand what they were voting on at the last meeting. Aside from the fact that the board violated LA Open Meetings laws by combining two separate agenda items (this was supposed to require a vote and public comment,) the new policy is completely contradictory and unenforceable by library staff. On the one hand, the Collection Development Policy states that "the library restricts R and NC-17 classified DVDs/movies, and any sexually explicit material to adult users only to view or to check out to those patrons 17 years of age or older." In other words, no one under 17 can VIEW OR CHECK OUT any material with sexual content. On the other hand, the new card policy states "Parents or guardians may opt for  their children to be issued a restricted card that cannot checkout adult materials.   Sexually explicit materials shall not be included/shelved in the Children’s Collection." So children CAN sign up non-restricted cards. It makes no sense. None.

    • EV Chargers Have Been Turned Off at West Regional Library​

      • Per Director Danny Gillane, he decided arbitrarily to turn off the EV chargers at West Regional library this week. Of course, this would have nothing to do with the complaints we've heard​ over the past 1.5 years from Judge et al about how the library shouldn't be in the business of providing things like library cards to out of parish residents, 3-D printers, musical instruments, and...charging stations for electric vehicles.

      • Lafayette Electrical Discussion, a local group which advocates for sustainable power solutions, offered the following information/talking points regarding the EV chargers at West Regional:

        • ​​​Please turn on the EV chargers, they help promote the library and are not a gratuitous donation of public funds.

        • A 1 hour charging session may use less than $1 in electricity.

        • This is Lafayette Parishes' first public electric vehicle charger, and the library has a "transportation" theme.

        • The chargers are open to all EV types.

        • Since its opening in 2019, it has achieved a lifetime rating of "10", a perfect score, from PlugShare electric vehicle users for being a great location, and providing excellent service, and amenities.

        • According to PlugShare reviews, tourists from out-of-town have relied on these chargers to visit Lafayette Parish and Louisiana, providing a hospitable welcome to Acadiana.

        • Local residents also use the chargers on a regular basis.

        • You can read more PlugShare reviews, here:

        • Lafayette Parish Libraries received the chargers for free under an agreement with Tesla. The Library may be violating its terms of use for receiving these chargers by turning them off.

        • The chargers have been turned off citing La. Const. art VII, sect. 14(A) that "things of value of the state or of any political subdivision shall not be loaned, pledged, or donated to or for any person, association, or corporation, public or private." However, the Attorney General's office and the Louisiana Legislative Auditor have determined that activities used to "promote" a library, such as a free movie night with free popcorn and drinks, or coffee and donuts, are legal. The EV chargers are a way to promote the library.

        • Two years ago, the Lafayette Mayor President asked the Louisiana Attorney General if it is permissible for the city to buy coffee for employees. The Attorney General responded saying that coffee isn't a gratuitous donation, and is acceptable. Turning off the EV chargers is just another misunderstanding of what a "gratuitous" donation is. A one-hour charging session costs about $1 in electricity use.

    • Northeast Regional Library Update​​

      • Yet another month has gone by without significant movement on the Northeast Regional Library project. The last update stated that there were appraisal issues with the property selected by the NE Committee and approved by the board, and two other properties had come forward with possible offers. However, the public has not heard details of those other two properties, the offers, or whether any of those three deals have been looked at or worked out. Where does the process stand? Why does it appear to be taking so long? The people of ​the Northside community deserve to be kept informed.

Cara Chance Exonerated in Civil Service Appeal


On March 15, Cara Chance was finally able to appeal her 7-day suspension without pay before the Lafayette Consolidated Government's Civil Service Board. The meeting was long, lasting from 5:30pm until 9:00pm, with several witnesses called to testify about the series of incidents leading up to Cara's suspension. Though library personnel and even LCG's HR rep tried their best to substantiate the bogus claim of "insubordination" laid out against Cara by Judge (ahem, sorry, by her supervisors, Sarah Monroe and Danny Gillane), their case fell apart upon further examination. In fact, according to news accounts, by the end of the meeting it was clear that Cara was actually the person subjected to insubordination by her employees at the branch she manages.


Instead of helping her with this situation, her supervisors attempted to gaslight and discredit her.


Thankfully, the Civil Service Board Members were able to see through the claims being made against her, and the suspension was overturned. They did not, unfortunately, vote to expunge her record completely (as they should have), but instead chose to reduce the charge to a letter of reprimand. For what, I can't imagine. Frustration in the face of MONTHS of continued attempts at being removed from your job simply for exercising your First Amendment right to Free Speech is understandable, to say the least.

We continue to support Cara in her work, her advocacy, and in her fight to keep her job and clear her name. If you'd like to help her too, please consider a contribution to her GoFundMe.

Citizens File Suit Against Robert Judge and Lafayette Consolidated Government

On Tuesday, March 7, LCAC co-founders Lynette Mejía and Melanie Brevis filed suit against Robert Judge and Lafayette Consolidated Government for infringing on their right to Free Speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The suit is based on two things. First are the rules put in place last year by Judge, which we've discussed here in depth before: posting signs with disturbing the peace statutes on the doors to the library; prohibiting the mentioning of board members by name; and posting armed sheriff's deputies on either side of the board table during meetings. Second is the incident we posted about in the January meeting recap, when Mr. Judge had Ms. Brevis removed from the board meeting simply for saying things during her 3-minute public speech he did not want to hear. 

Ms. Mejía and Ms. Brevis are asking that the rules which are infringing upon the public's right to speak be rescinded, and that both the board members and LCG staff are given training in First Amendment principles so that this situation is avoided in the future. They are also asking for attorney's fees and damages. 

Open book is on fire, pages are engulfed in flames. Concept of censorship, prohibition of

March's Censorship News

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