Agenda Item
Docket No. 20-208
A request for an advisory opinion, submitted by Roy Burrell, regarding whether the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics ("Code") prohibits his continued involvement as the Managing Director of the ICE Institute after being elected to the Caddo Parish Commission.
Commissioner Burrell was elected to the Caddo Parish Commission ("CPC") in the Fall of 2019; his term started January 13, 2020. Prior to his election, the Commission passed its 2020 budget containing a $10,000.00 appropriation to the Inner City Entrepreneur Institute ("ICE Institute"), a private not-for-profit. Commissioner Burrel is the managing director (not an employee) of the ICE Institute via a contract with his company, Best Communications Management Services, LLC ("BCMS") that helps facilitate a yearly "Plan of Action" approved by the ICE Institute Board of Directors. Although the ICE Institute seeks grant funding from the CPC, separate private funds are raised to pay for his contractual services.

For the past several years, CPC has awarded a grant to the ICE Institute to run its BizCamp Program, an entrepreneurial education program while he has been the organization's managing director. The CPC has sent an award letter to the organization but has not executed a 2020 grant contract and the 2019 grant contract ended prior to the start of his term on the CPC.

La. R.S. 42:1111(C)(2)(d) provides that no public servant and no legal entity in which the public servant exercises control or owns an interest in excess of twenty-five percent, shall receive any thing of economic value for or in consideration of services rendered, or to be rendered, to or for any person during his public service unless such services are: (d) Neither performed for nor compensated by any person or from any officer, director, agent, or employee of such person, if such public servant knows or reasonably should know that such person has or is seeking to obtain contractual or other business or financial relationships with the public servant's agency; conducts operations or activities which are regulated by the public employee's agency; or has substantial economic interests which may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the public employee's official duty.

La. R.S. 42:1111(E)(1) provides that no public servant, and no legal entity of which such public servant is an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee, or in which such public servant has a substantial economic interest, shall receive or agree to receive any thing of economic value for assisting a person in a transaction, or in an appearance in connection with a transaction, with the agency of such public servant.

La. R.S. 42:1112(A) states that no public servant, except as provided in R.S. 42:1120, shall participate in a transaction in which he has a personal substantial economic interest of which he may be reasonably expected to know involving the governmental entity.

La. R.S. 42:1112(B)(3) prohibits a public servant from participating in a governmental transaction in which any person of which he is an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee 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 proposed opinion.
Assigned Attorney: LaToya Jordan
2020-06-22 Advisory Opinion.v3.draft (Docket No. 2020-208)
2020-208 - Advisory Opinion Request Roy Burrell