Meetings
 
Agenda Item
Docket No. 21-352
 
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RE:
A Request for an Advisory Opinion, submitted by John C. Hopewell, III (City Attorney for the City of Zachary), regarding whether the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics ("Code") would prohibit his law firm from subleasing an office to a third party contractor of the City of Zachary while he is the City Attorney for the City of Zachary.
Facts:
Mr. Hopewell is a practicing attorney, the City Attorney for the City of Zachary, and the managing member of Hopewell Law Firm, LLC ("Firm"). He was appointed the City Attorney for the City of Zachary in 2011. As the City Attorney, he is the Chief Legal Officer for the City of Zachary.



The Firm leases its office space from Old Scenic Properties, LLC. After one of the Firm's offices spaces became available for sublease, a third party contractor of the City of Zachary approached the Firm about subleasing an available office space. The third party contractor provides technical guidance and construction contract management professional services to the City of Zachary.

Law:
La. R.S. 42:1102(20.1) defines "service" to mean the performance of work, duties, responsibilities, or the leasing, rental, or sale of movable or immovable property.



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)(5) prohibits a public servant from participating in a transaction in which the following person has a substantial economic interest: Any person who is a party to an existing contract with such public servant, or with any legal entity in which the public servant exercises control or owns an interest in excess of twenty-five percent, or who owes any thing of economic value to such public servant, or to any legal entity in which the public servant exercises control or owns an interest in excess of twenty-five percent, and who by reason thereof is in a position to affect directly the economic interests of such public servant.


Recommendations:
Adopt the proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: LaToya Jordan
 
 
ATTACHMENTS:
Description:
2021-352 - Advisory Opinion John C. Hopewell III
2021-06-28 Advisory Opinion.draft.v1 (Docket No. 2021-352)