Agenda Item
Docket No. 19-546
Advisory Opinion request from Frederick Treuting, Jr., Administrator of Human Resources Compliance, Development and Retention for St. Charles Parish Schools, regarding future Superintendent Dr. Ken Oertling, and the continued employment of his wife Kelli Oertling.
Kelli Oertling has been employed by St. Charles Parish School System ("St. Charles Schools) as the Principal of Lakewood Elementary School since May 7, 2009. Her husband, Dr. Ken Oertling, is currently employed by St. Charles Schools as the Executive Director of Secondary Schools. Dr. Oertling was recently chosen as the new Superintendent of St. Charles Schools and will begin his new position on July 1, 2019.

St. Charles Schools asks whether Kelli Oertling would be eligible for a promotion or transfer within St. Charles Schools while her husband is employed as the Superintendent. Any promotion or transfer that would normally require the approval of the Superintendent would instead be considered and approved by Tresa Webre, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources & Administrative Services.

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 an exception that the Code shall not prohibit the continued employment of any public employee, not in any way affect normal promotional advancements for such public employee where a member of the public employee's immediate family becomes the agency head of the public employee's agency, provided that the public employee has been employed for more than one year prior to the immediate family member becoming the agency head.

La. R.S. 42:1119B(2)(a)(iii) requires that within thirty days after the beginning of each school year, any superintendent whose immediate family member is employed by the school board shall file a disclosure statement with the Board of Ethics states the facts of such employment. Any person who fails to timely file a disclosure statement may be assessed a late fee of $50 per day, not to exceed a total of $1,500.

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.

La. R.S. 42:1112C requires that every public employee shall disqualify himself from participating in a transaction involving the governmental entity when a violation of Section 1112 would result.

Adopt the proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: David Bordelon
2019-546 - Advisory Opinion Draft
2019-546 Request for opinion