Agenda Item
Docket No. 17-390
Advisory opinion request by Blake Relle regarding whether he may provide genealogy research and scan materials for potential clients for compensation while he is employed as an archives specialist for the Louisiana State Archives.
In his position as an archive specialist, Mr. Relle processes and creates DACS complaint finding aid for new collections; rehouses collections; types inventories; and, pulls materials from the stacks for researchers. However, Mr. Relle stated that he does not conduct genealogy research. A review of his job description states that part of his functions include performing reference and research concerning historical events, collections and genealogy; answering inquiries and furnishing information relating to historical collections; and, assisting the public in locating and accessing informational materials. Further, it states that he oversees the preparation of vital records for indexing and conducts tours or presents lectures to genealogical and historical organizations pertaining to historical and genealogical records maintained by the State Archives.
As a private genealogy researcher, Mr. Relle would search for people's ancestors in the census. After finding information on the client's ancestors, he would analyze the information in order to determine the next logical step in his research. Mr. Relle would also search probate records, federal census, naturalization records, military records, and vital records. Some of these records may be found in the Louisiana State Archives, different parishes, states, or even another country. All of the private work he would perform would be outside of his working hours with the Louisiana State Archives.
La. R.S. 42:1111C(1)(a) provides that no public servant shall receive any thing of economic value for any service, the subject matter of which is devoted substantially to the responsibilities, programs, or operations of the agency of the public servant and in which the public servant has participated.

La. R.S. 42:1112B provides no public servant shall participate in a transaction involving the governmental entity in which, to his actual knowledge, any person in which he has a substantial economic interest of which he may reasonably be expected to know, any person with whom he is negotiating or has an arrangement concerning prospective employment, and any person who is a party to an existing contract with such public servant has a substantial economic interest.

Adopt proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Brett Robinson
2017-390 Draft Opinion
2017-390 Request
2017-390- Additional Info
2017-390- Archives Specialist job description