Agenda Item
Docket No. 17-138
Advisory opinion request by Susan LeBlanc, Secretary of the Bayou Blue Fire Protection District, regarding whether Jaclyn Clement may be compensated as a part-time employee of the Bayou Blue Fire Department (Fire Department) while her father, John Culhane, serves as Chairman of the Bayou Blue Fire District (Fire District).
Ms. Clement has been a volunteer firefighter with the Fire Department since January 4, 2007. Mr. Culhane first served on the Fire District Board from 2006 to 2008. He was reappointed to the Fire District Board as Board Chairman in April of 2013.

The Fire Department will be hiring five part-time firefighters who will be hired by the Fire Chief. If hired, Ms. Clement would be directly supervised by the Fire Chief; however, she would be compensated by the Fire District. A District Board Member and the bookkeeper will sign all payroll checks returning to the Fire Chief for distribution.

La. R.S. 42:1119A provides that no member of the immediate family of an agency head shall be employed in his agency.

La. R.S. 42:1119C(2) provides that the provisions of this Section shall not prohibit the continued employment of any public employee nor shall it be construed to hinder, alter, or in any way affect normal promotional advancements for such public employee where a member of public employees' immediate family becomes the agency head of such public employee's agency, provided that such public employee has been employed in the agency for a period of at least one year prior to the member of the public employee's immediate family becoming the agency head.

La. R.S. 42:1119C(6) provides that the provisions of this Section shall not apply to the employment of a volunteer firefighter or to any decision regarding the employment of a volunteer firefighter by an agency head, a chief executive of a governmental entity, or a member of a governing authority. For purposes of this Paragraph, "volunteer firefighter" shall mean a member of a volunteer fire department who participates in fire and rescue functions and who receives no remuneration for his services, and "decision regarding employment" shall include any decision involving the employment, promotion, discipline, discharge, or assignment of the firefighter.

La. R.S. 42:1112B(1) provides that no public servant shall participate in a transaction involving the governmental entity in which, to his actual knowledge, any member of his immediate family has a substantial economic interest.

Adopt proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Brett Robinson
2017-138 Draft Opinion
2017-138 Request
2017-138- Add. info