Agenda Item
Docket No. 20-150
Request for an advisory opinion from Minor Pipes, III representing the Gee Cee Company relative to the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans properly disqualifying JEI Solutions, Inc. from a bid for services due to a violation of the Code of Ethics.
The Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans ("SWBNO") advertised for public bids for "Skilled and Unskilled Labor for Maintenance." JEI Solutions, Inc. ("JEI") and The Gee Cee Company of LA, Inc. ("Gee Cee") both bid on the contract, with Gee Cee being awarded the contract after JEI was disqualified by the Director of Purchasing because JEI's principal, Wade Joseph, is the brother of Dexter Joseph, who is the Director of Budget and Planning at the SWBNO.

The SWBNO has not awarded the contract and is waiting for the opinion of the BOE before awarding the contract.

JEI appealed their disqualification to a hearing examiner who overturned the disqualification on January 20, 2020, finding that Dexter Joseph's agency was the Budget and Planning Department which had no supervision over the bid which was under the supervision of the Purchasing Department.

Bid contracts are not reviewed by the Planning and Budget Department.

According to an organizational chart, the Director of Planning and Budget has no supervision over any other department that reviews bid contracts.

La. R.S. 42:1113A(1)(a) prohibits a public servant, or member of his immediate family, or legal entity in which he has a controlling interest from bidding on or entering into any contract, subcontract, or other transaction that is under the supervision or jurisdiction of his agency.

La. R.S. 42:1102(2)(a)(vi) provides that "agency" means a department, office, division, agency, commission, board, committee, or other organizational unit of a governmental entity. For purposes of this Chapter, "agency of the public servant" and "his agency" when used in reference to the agency of a public servant of political subdivisions shall mean the agency in which the public servant serves, except for members of any governing authority and for the elected or appointed chief executive of a governmental entity, it shall mean the governmental entity.

Adopt the proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Greg Thibodeaux
2020-150 AO Draft _3- Pipes
2020-150 - Advisory Opinion Request H. Minor Pipes
2020-150 SWBNO Planning Budget Org Chart
2020-150 SWBNO Policy Memorandum _95