Agenda Item
Docket No. 12-231
Advisory opinion as to whether the wife of Mr. Kyle Bernis, assistant manager of Poverty Point Reservoir State Park, would be prohibited from being employed with a company that has been obtained to perform management services with the Office of State Parks.
Mr. Bernis is employed by the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism (DCRT) in the agency of the Office of State Parks as the assistant manager of the Poverty Point Reservoir State Park (Poverty Point) located in Delhi, LA. According to his opinion request, the Black Bear Golf Course comes under the umbrella of the Poverty Point Reservoir State Park which means management of Poverty Point is responsible for managing Black Bear Golf Course. Both Poverty Point and the golf course are managed by Mr. Bernis' supervisor, Mike Vallery. Mr. Vallery manages two completely distinct staffs at Poverty Point and Black Bear Golf Course. As assistant manager of Poverty Point, Mr. Bernis does not have any supervisory authority nor does he work with or have anything to do with Black Bear Golf Course. He only works at Poverty Point Reservoir State Park.

Black Bear Lodge is a Hotel at the golf course. The operation of it is contracted out to Task Force, LLC, a private company from Baton Rouge. The contract in question is between Task Force LLC and the Office of State Parks and not Poverty Point Reservoir State Park (i.e. the contract is not with Mr. Bernis' agency). The contract is not under his supervision and he had no input as to who received the contract with the Office of State Parks. The contract is now up for renewal, and there is a possibility that Task Force, LLC will receive the contract again, but another company may receive the contract with the Office of State Parks. Mr. Bernis seeks this advisory opinion for guidance as to whether his wife, Renita Mouton, may be employed by Task Force, LLC or another company who might receive the contract with the Office of State Parks.

A similar advisory opinion request was rendered by the Board at its August 2011 Board meeting. See BD No. 2011-1034. Mr. Vallery (the supervisor of Mr. Bernis) requested the opinion as to whether his spouse could obtain employment with Task Force, LLC. The Board found that such employment would be a violation of Section 1111C(2)(d) of the Code of Ethics.

Section 1111C(2)(d) of the Code prohibits a public servant or his spouse from receiving anything of economic value for services rendered to a person who has a contractual or other business or financial relationship with the agency of the public servant.

Adopt proposed advisory opinion.

Assigned Attorney: Brent Durham
2012-231 (Bernis - Poverty Point Asst. Manager)
2012-231 (Follow up e-mail)
2012-231 (Fax of Org Chart _ Letter From Supervisor)
2012-231- Advisory Opinion Request