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2012-460
Opinion Type
Advisory Opinion
Docket Number
2012-460
Requesting Party
David E. Peralta
Parties Involved
Sharon Schafer
St. Bernard Parish Indigent Defender's Office
Tom Gernhauser
Jerry Graves
Decision Date
5/18/2012
Law
1119
Caption
The Board concluded the Code of Governmental Ethics would not prohibit Sharon Schafer's continued employment with St. Bernard Parish once she marries St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta, as Ms. Schafer will have been employed with the Parish for more than a year prior to becoming Mr. Peralta's spouse.
Ethics Subject Matters
Nepotism
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STATE OF LOUISIANA
� fA(i�
DEPARTMENT OF STATE CIVIL SERVICE
, ,, 'y LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
;' P. O. BOX 4368
' BATON ROUGE, LA 70821
L '04 u ,eM , (225) 219 -5600
•I �` " �,
FAX (225) 381 -7271
1 -800- 842 -6630
www.ethics.state.la.us
May 29, 2012
David E. Peralta
St. Bernard Parish President
8201 West Jedge Perez Drive
Chalmette, LA 70043
RE: Ethics Docket No. 2012 -460
Dear Mr. Peralta,
The Louisiana Board of Ethics at its May 18, 2012 meeting, considered your request for an advisory
opinion regarding the continued employment of Sharon Schafer as a paralegal for St. Bernard Parish
Indigent Defender's office will violate the Code of Ethics if you and Ms. Schafer marry. You state
that you have been President of St. Bernard Parish since January 10, 2012. Sharon Schafer has
served as a paralegal for St. Bernard Parish in the Indigent Defenders Office since June 11, 2007.
Upon taking office as the Parish President, you directed all supervision of Ms. Schafer to Tom
Gernhauser, the head of the Indigent Defender Board. You also directed all administrative
supervision of Ms. Schafer to the Chief Administrative officer, Jerry Graves. You and Ms. Schafer
were married in March of 2012.
The Board concluded and instructed me to inform you that the Code of Governmental Ethics will
not prohibit Ms. Schafer from continuing her employment with St. Bernard Parish after her marriage
to you. Section 1119 prohibits the immediate family member of an agency head from being
employed in that agency. However, an exception to that prohibition is found in Section 1119C(2)
which allows a public employee, having served for more than one year, to continue in that
employment when a member of the immediate family becomes the head of the agency. Since Ms.
Schafer has been employed with St. Bernard Parish for more than a year prior to becoming your
spouse, Section 1119 of the Code will not prohibit her continued employment with the Parish after
your marriage. Additionally, the Board advises that Section 1112 of the Code will prohibit you from
participating in any transactions in your spouse may have a substantial economic interest.
This advisory opinion is based solely on the facts as set forth herein. Changes to the facts as
presented may result in a different application of the provisions of the Code of Ethics. The Board
issues no opinion as to past conduct or laws other than the Code of Governmental Ethics. If you
have any questions, please contact me at (225) 219 -5600 or (800) 842 -6630.
Sincerely,
i
OUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
o t r A ni a,,_ P. 1:
Aneatra P. Boykin
For the Board 4N EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER