Agenda Item
Docket No. 17-864
Advisory Opinion request regarding Public Service Commissioner Mike Francis.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) is an executive-branch agency, created by Article IV, Section 21 of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974. The PSC is charged with regulating common carriers and public utilities, and is authorized to adopt and enforce reasonable rules, regulations, and procedures necessary for the discharge of its duties. One of the activities regulated by the PSC is the intrastate transportation of Hazardous Waste, Non-Hazardous Oilfield Waste, and Non-Hazardous Industrial Solid Waste (collectively "waste hauling"). Currently, there are approximately 200 PSC certified carriers with the authority to haul all or some of these types of waste in Louisiana.

On a regular basis, the PSC receives applications from individuals seeking new authority, as well as existing carriers seeking to expend or transfer their existing authority. After completing the application review process, these applications are placed on the meeting agenda and voted on by the PSC. The PSC is also currently considering adopting changes to its rules, processes, and procedures for reviewing these applications, which would lessen the burden on potential applicants.

Mike Francis was recently elected as a Commissioner with the PSC, with his six-year term beginning in January of 2017. Mr. Francis is one of five elected members of the PSC. Brian Francis is the son of Mike Francis. Prior to Mike Francis's election to the PSC, Brian Francis was granted one of the PSC certificates to transport industrial waste for disposal. He is currently the sole-owner of the PSC certificate.

La. R.S. 42:1112B(1) states 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.

La. R.S.42:1120 provides that if an elected official, in the discharge of a duty or responsibility of his office or position, would be required to vote on a matter which would be a violation of R.S. 42:1112, he shall recuse himself from voting. An elected official who recuses himself from voting pursuant to this Section shall not be prohibited from participating in discussion and debate concerning the matter, provided that he makes the disclosure of his conflict or potential conflict a part of the record of his agency prior to his participation in the discussion and debate and prior to the vote that is the subject of discussion or debate.

Adopt the proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: David Bordelon
2017-864 - Advisory Opinion Draft
2017-864 AOR