Agenda Item
Docket No. 20-213
A request for an advisory opinion, submitted by Shannon H. Thorn, concerning whether the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics ("Code") would prohibit the continued employment of Stephanie L. Bordelon at Pinecrest Supports & Services Center ("Pinecrest") after her marriage to Mr. Thorn, the Administrator/CEO.
Mr. Thorn is currently the Administrator/CEO of Pinecrest, which is the chief executive officer with appointing authority. He has been employed at Pinecrest since August 1997 and became the Administrator/CEO in March 2013. Pinecrest, a state agency that operates under the authority and jurisdiction of the Louisiana Department of Health, is an intermittent care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that employs 1,338 people.

In October 2017, Mr. Thorn began to date Stephanie L. Bordelon, who is an employee of Pinecrest. Ms. Bordelon began her employment with Pinecrest in September 2013. Ms. Bordelon is currently an Administrative Program Specialist A in the Property Control Department. There are (and have always been) two (2) levels of supervisors between Mr. Thorn and Ms. Bordelon in the agency organizational structure.

Mr. Thorn stated that, once he began dating Ms. Bordelon, he recused himself from any and all agency actions that involved Ms. Bordelon. The recusals involved everything including personnel actions, investigations, purchase requests, etc. He stated that he and Ms. Bordelon are contemplating marriage and are inquiring as to any potential conflicts of interest that might arise from their union.

La. R.S. 42:1112(B)(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. 42:1112(C) allows a disqualification plan to be developed in accordance with rules adopted by the Board to remove a public servant from participating in transactions that would otherwise present violations of Section 1112 of the Code.
La. R.S. 42:1119(A) states that no member of the immediate family of an agency head shall be employed in his agency.

La. R.S. 42:1119(C)(2) provides that the provisions of this Section shall not prohibit the continued employment of any public employee nor shall it be construed to hinder, alter, or in any way affect normal promotional advancements for such public employee where a member of public employee's immediate family becomes the agency head of such public employee's agency, provided that such public employee has been employed in the agency for a period of at least one year prior to the member of the public employee's immediate family becoming the agency head.

Adopt the proposed opinion.
Assigned Attorney: LaToya Jordan
2020-03-23 Advisory Opinion.v2.draft (Docket No. 2020-213)
2020-213 - Advisory Opinion Request Shannon Thorn
2017-660 Advisory Opinion