The chief regulator of Louisiana’s private security industry, which already faces allegations of financial and sexual misconduct, is now in the crosshairs of the state’s public corruption watchdog.
State Inspector General Stephen Street has confirmed that his office is investigating Fabian Blache III, who heads the State Council of Private Security Examiners.
The investigation follows an internal investigation that accused Blache of nepotism and abusive spending, and months after an employee filed a sexual harassment complaint against him with the U.S. Equal Opportunities Commission ‘use.
SBPSE’s attorney described several examples of alleged wrongdoing by Blache in a 95-page report obtained by The Advocate.
In 2019, the report states that Blache did not reimburse the International Association of Security and Investigative Regulators – an industry group of which he is chairman – the cost of a trip to speak at a conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. While IASIR was covering Blache’s plane ticket, his wife joined him as well, raising the bill for the stay to $ 5,127.86.
“The board paid to cover the plane ticket with the understanding that the IASIR or the South African local authorities who invited Mr. Blache would reimburse these funds,” the report said. “However, those paying the reimbursement were unwilling to cover the additional airfare for Mr. Blache’s wife.”
On August 8, 2019, Blache wrote a personal check to the regulator for $ 2,563.50 to cover his wife’s share of the trip. According to the report, however, the check was never deposited into the council’s account and was subsequently found in Blache’s personal file.
The report cites another questionable incident in March 2020, when Blache sent an email telling employees that due to the coronavirus pandemic he would let them cash up to 80 hours of annual or compensatory leave. Blache then asked the council’s finance director, Sharon Vallery, to write him a check for $ 4,616 for 80 hours of annual leave.
“All the documents available clearly indicate that the check was for annual leave and not for compensatory hours, which Mr. Blache did not have and cannot earn,” the report said.
Then there was the check for $ 2,500 that Blache handed to his brother-in-law’s fiancee Victoria Gott for contract investigative work, the report continues. He also gave her a gun.
But the report says he never asked her to go through the required background check and no discernible work was done until six months later, in September 2020.
When contacted by The Advocate on Wednesday, Blache declined to comment on the report’s findings.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said he received a copy of the council’s report several weeks ago. But he said the OIG will conduct the investigation from here.
âWhatever he finds, he will give it to us,â Moore said. “If there are measures to be taken, then we will take over.”
Rafael Goyeneche, chairman of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, a New Orleans-based nonprofit watchdog, said the allegations could eventually expand beyond what SBPSE has found.
“If there are any discoveries, it will not only reflect on Fabian Blache III, it will also reflect on the painting,” he said.
Blache is the son of another well-known figure in the state, Fabian Blache, Jr., chief of the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police.
Young Blache has already survived a scandal.
In 2018, SBPSE put him on paid leave after staff members filed several complaints against him and his executive assistant, Bridgette Hull. Among the allegations: that they used inappropriate language, made sexually suggestive gestures and made numerous misconduct such as not filling out timesheets or taking vacation days when they skipped work.
Board members said at the time they could only substantiate a few of the 13 allegations against the couple and voted 5-4 to allow Blache to return as executive director. Blache insisted at the time that the foreclosure attempt stemmed from his crackdown on rule-breaking security companies.
A man was sitting inside his truck in the parking lot of a Tigerland bar one night late last year when three security guards approached him, wearing bulletproof vests and armed with handguns. The man later told police that he initially thought the guards were law enforcement officers when they pulled him out of his truck and handcuffed him.
But similar complaints arose in the years that followed, including from the employee who filed the EEOC complaint last month as well as a complaint to the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations. Louisiana. Because the lawyer | Times-Picayune does not name people who claim to be victims of sexual harassment, unless they give permission, their identity is withheld.
In a July 1 letter detailing the allegations, her lawyer Jill Craft describes how the woman worked as an exotic dancer when she met Blache, a regular at her nightclub. After hiring her to work for the state security council, the complaint indicates that Blache often commented that she was not qualified for the job and that she would be out of work without him.
Craft’s letter accuses Blache of dragging and manipulating the woman into an unwanted sexual relationship. Craft says Blache insisted on sharing a bed with the woman on a business trip to California in 2017, exposed her genitals to her, and began offering her sex and sexual favors.
“She was in a dead end,” Craft’s letter reads.
The employee kept text messages from Blache, the letter said, threatening to fire her if she refused his advances.
“In one of these texts from March 9, 2020, (the woman) asked if she needed to worry about her job because she had sexually estranged from him,” Craft wrote. “Sir. Blache responded by threatening her job, including saying that she was his ‘first mate’ and that if she was not available to him he would terminate her job.”
The allegations that have surfaced over the past month have paved the way for an investigation that Moore says will last for several months. It’s going to take a while to go through everything, he said.
“But,” the district attorney added, “I think they’re going to give their all and conduct a good investigation.”