Agenda Item
Docket No. 19-1218
Reconsideration of a request for an advisory opinion, submitted by Logan J. Hunt, concerning whether the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics prohibits him from continuing his employment with Argent Mineral Management, LLC ("AMM") after being elected to the Lincoln Parish Police Jury ("LPPJ").
Mr. Hunt was elected to be a police juror for District 5 of the LPPJ. Currently, the LPPJ contracts with Argent Advisors, Inc. ("AAI"), which is a subsidiary of Argent Financial Group, Inc. ("AFG") with four (4) directors/officers. AFG has sixteen (16) directors/officers, sharing only two (2) with AAI. AAI performs financial services for the LPPJ, managing approximately $10,000,000.00 in assets, the majority of which are held in the LPPJ's "Hospital Proceeds Fund."

Mr. Hunt is a salaried employee of AMM. AMM is a limited liability company that has one manager that is not AFG. AMM provides mineral management services, including the accounting and auditing of royalty payments. As a salaried employee of AMM, he owns 180 shares of AFG stock out of the 1,282,000 outstanding shares (which is roughly .01%). Mr. Hunt is not an officer, director, trustee, or partner of AFG or any of its subsidiaries. Additionally, Mr. Hunt receives no compensation or commission from AAI.
The Board first considered this matter during the December 2019 Board meeting and requested that it be returned to the Board. Based upon information that the subsidiaries involved were wholly owned by a parent company, AFG, the Board determined that Mr. Hunt would be prohibited from continuing his employment with AMM while a member of the LPPJ. However, given the additional information, the draft advisory opinion has been revised to include the additional information.
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. 42:1112(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. 42:1114 provides that each public servant and each member of his immediate family who derives anything of economic value, directly, through any transaction involving the agency of such public servant or who derives any thing of economic value of which he may be reasonably expected to know through a person which (1) is regulated by the agency of such public servant, or (2) has bid on or entered into or is in any way financially interested in any contract, subcontract, or any transaction under the supervision or jurisdiction of the agency of such public servant shall disclose certain information as set forth in Section 1114.

La. R.S. 42:1120.4 provides an exception for appointed members of a board or commission to recuse themselves from voting on matters that violate section 1112 of the Code. The appointed members may not discuss and debate the matter.

Copperweld Corp. v. Indep. Tube Corp., 467 U.S. 752, 769 (1984) - A subsidiary is wholly owned when the parent company is the only shareholder of the subsidiary.

Adopt the proposed revised advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: LaToya Jordan
2019-1218 Request for Opinion
2021-05-25 Advisory Opinion.FINAL (Docket No. 2019-1218)