Agenda Item
Docket No. 20-369
Advisory opinion regarding whether a member of the Terrebonne Parish Council may apply and receive a small business grant from the nonprofit corporation, Terrebonne Economic Development Foundation through their Bayou Business Recovery Grant Program, for his personal business as a result of COVID-19 recovery efforts, when the grant is administered by the Terrebonne Parish Economic Development Authority, which is under the supervision of his agency.
John Navy is a public servant and an elected official for the Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government. John Navy is the sole owner of a personal private business, Navy Enterprise, LLC, which offers janitorial services. Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government is a Home Rule Charter Government with a nine member council as its legislative branch and a parish president, who is head of the executive branch. John Navy is an elected member of the council. The Parish President submits an annual budget and the budget is subject to council approval. John Navy intends to apply for and receive a grant administered by the Terrebonne Parish Economic Development Authority (TEDA) through their nonprofit organization, Terrebonne Economic Development Foundation. The relationship with TPCG and TEDA includes the council appointing two members of TEDA's board and the council's approval of the parish budget. TEDA receives budgeting from TPCG.

The TEDF received funds from BHP Oil Company to award grants to assist Terrebonne Parish businesses who have suffered economic hardship as a result of COVID-19. The grants are designed to provide up to $10,000 per applicant to assist Terrebonne small businesses. The eligibility requirements were established to ensure that grants are awarded to small business operating primarily in Terrebonne Parish. A limited number of TEDA staff initially reviews the applications and makes recommendations for approval. Then the identifying information is scrubbed from the recommended applications and reviewed blindly by a three person committee, who makes final approvals. Neither the Terrebonne Parish Council nor the Terrebonne Parish President will participate in the allocation of funding or awarding decisions.

La. R.S. 42:1113A: No public servant or member of such a public servant's immediate family, or legal entity in which he has a controlling interest shall bid on or enter into any contract, subcontract, or other transaction that is under the supervision or jurisdiction of the agency of such public servant.

La. R.S. 42:1111.1: Notwithstanding any contrary provision of this Part, during the time period extending from the date of a gubernatorially declared disaster or emergency and ending on the date five years after the date the gubernatorially declared disaster or emergency was initially declared by the governor, a public servant may receive a thing of economic value as a contribution or donation from a not-for-profit organization or a fund within a not-for-profit organization for the purpose of disaster aid or relief to offset any economic losses suffered by the public servant as a result of the gubernatorially declared disaster or emergency, provided that the total value of contributions received by the public servant related to the gubernatorially declared disaster or emergency from not-for-profit organizations or funds within not-for-profit organizations shall not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars.
Adopt proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Brandi Barze
2020-369 Draft Opinion
2020-369 - Advisory Opinion Request Julius P. Hebert, Jr.