Agenda Item
Docket No. 13-106
Advisory opinion regarding whether Judge Robert Murphy, of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal, may use his campaign funds to reimburse his employees the cost of COBRA expenses and to pay an employee two weeks worth of pay.
Judge Murphy states that he has requested payments to his staff at the Court of Appeal for Cobra expenditures and compensation for one of them. All three employees left medical care plans that offered no coverage beyond their last date of employment. The appellate court medical system benefits call for a 30-day waiting period. Two of the employees were employed with Judge Murphy at the District Court and the third employee was employed with a private law firm prior to obtaining employment with the Court of Appeal. All three employees took a significant reduction in pay to work for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal.
R.S. 18:1505.2I provides that campaign funds may not be used for any personal use unrelated to the candidate's campaign or his holding of public office. This Subsection also provides that excess funds may be used for a future campaign; returned to contributors on a pro-rata basis; given as charitable contributions as provided in 26 USC 170(c) or contributions to 501(c)(3) organizations; or in support of or opposition to a proposition, political party, or candidate.

Section 1111A of the Code prohibits a public servant from accepting anything for the performance of their public duties other than the compensation and benefits that they are duly entitled to for their public service.

Adopt the advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Aneatra Boykin
2013-106- Advisory Opinion Request