Agenda Item
Docket No. 17-735
Advisory opinion request by Ralph Alexis, III, on behalf of Third District Volunteer Fire Department (Jefferson Parish) regarding whether the Department can use funds in its private bank account to pay expenses in connection with a mailer opposing a proposition.
The Third District Volunteer Fire Department (Department) has previously entered into a contract with Jefferson Parish Fire Protection District No. 3 (District) to provide fire protection and suppression and related services to the District.

A proposition was put to a vote by the District with the purpose of increasing the millage used to fund fire protection in the District. If passed, this proposition would have terminated the Department's contract with the District with Jefferson Parish East Bank Consolidated Fire Department taking their place for fire protection and suppression.

Jody Sanderson, a Department member, entered into an agreement with LeBlanc & Schuster Public Relations Inc. to print and mail a flier. The cost of the mailing and fliers was $4,366.33.

La. R.S. 18:1465 provides that no public funds shall be used to urge any elector to vote for or against any candidate or proposition, or be appropriated to a candidate or political organization. This provision shall not prohibit the use of public funds for dissemination of factual information relative to a proposition appearing on an election ballot.

La. R.S. 18:1486 provides that any person, including a political committee, who receives and accepts any contribution, loan, or transfer of funds, or makes any expenditure in support of or in opposition to a proposition or question submitted to the voters shall be required to file reports of such contributions and expenditures.

Decline to render an opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Brett Robinson
2017-735 Advisory Opinion Request