Agenda Item
Docket No. 17-419
Advisory opinion request by Lester J. Gauthier, Jr. regarding whether it is appropriate for State Representative Vincent Pierre to utilize campaign funds to pay for the cost of legal services in responding to a public records request.
Rep. Pierre received a written public records request seeking information relating to the removal of a board member who served on the SMILE Board. SMILE is the St. Martin Iberia Lafayette Community Action Agency. According to the SMILE by-laws, elected officials in the geographical area, such as Rep. Pierre, may serve on the board or appoint a representative to serve on the board.

The public records requests came from Rep. Pierre's appointee to the board who has been removed from the board. Mr. Gauthier prepared a response to the request and provided advice and counsel to Rep. Pierre. His bill for services rendered has been held in abeyance pending the advice of the Ethics Board.

La. R.S. 18:1505.2(I) provides that contributions received by a candidate or a political committee may be expended for any lawful purpose, but such funds shall not be used, loaned, or pledged by any person for any personal use unrelated to a political campaign, the holding of a public office or party position.... However, the use of campaign funds of a candidate or his principal or subsidiary committees to reimburse a candidate for expenses related to his political campaign or his holding of a public office or party position shall not be considered personal use by the candidate.
Adopt proposed opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Brett Robinson
2017-419 Proposed Opinion
2017-419 Advisory Opinion Request
2017-419- SMILE BY-LAWS