Agenda Item
Docket No. 20-884
Advisory Opinion Request by Suzonne V. Cowart, Finance Director for the City of Central, regarding providing accounting services to the Central Chamber of Commerce.
Suzonne Cowart is a Certified Public Account ("CPA") and currently contracts with the City of Central to serve as the Finance Director. Ms. Cowart's duties as Finance Director include processing the City's payroll, preparing payroll tax returns, and remitting all payroll taxes. She also assists the Mayor in the preparation of the budget, oversee annual audits, and reviews all monthly closeout documents and financials. Ms. Cowart does not have signature authority over the City's bank accounts or investments and she does not have approval authority over any expenditures for the City.

The Central Chamber of Commerce Inc. ("Central Chamber") is a non-profit corporation that promotes the business and professional interests of its members and enhances the economic, cultural, and recreational opportunities for the citizens of the City. The Central Chamber has entered into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the City for the Chamber to provide economic development activities, including, but not limited to, events to promote the community, business retention, and attracting new businesses to the City. Central Mayor David Barrow serves as the contact for the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement.

The Central Chamber's current accountant is retiring at the end of 2020. Ms. Cowart has been asked by the Central Chamber to provide accounting services to them, which would include payroll processing, remitting and filing payroll taxes and returns, and preparation of annual tax returns.

La. R.S. 42:1111C(2)(d) provides that no public servant shall receive anything of economic value for, or in consideration of services rendered, or to be rendered, to or for any person who has, or is seeking to obtain, a contractual, business, or financial relationship with the public servant's agency.
Adopt the proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: David Bordelon
2020-884 - Advisory Opinion Draft
2020-884- Advisory Opinion Request - Cowart
2020-884- Chamber CEA
2020-884- CEA Amendment 2020-21
2020-884- Organizational Chart