Agenda Item
Docket No. 21-480
A Request for an Advisory Opinion, submitted by Warren A. Perrin, regarding whether the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics ("Code") would prohibit the Acadian Heritage & Culture Foundation, Inc. ("Foundation"), a non-profit organization of which he is the Founder, Director, President, Vice-President, and Secretary/Treasurer, from accepting a $10,000.00 grant from the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana ("CODOFIL").
CODOFIL is a council that: 1) oversees the development and expansion of the state's economic development and tourism activities designed to promote our French culture, heritage, and language; and, 2) promotes, develops, and oversees cultural and educational relations and exchanges within the state and between the state of Louisiana and other countries, provinces, and states that share Louisiana's historical French heritage, culture, and language. CODOFIL serves as the official state agency in all relations and exchanges between the state of Louisiana and other countries, provinces, and states enjoying membership or observer status in the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and similar organizations. La. R.S. 25:653.
Mr. Perrin was originally appointed to serve as President and member of CODOFIL by Governor Edwin W. Edwards. He was subsequently re-appointed to the position of President and member of the CODOFIL Board by Governor Mike Foster, Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, and Governor Bobby Jindal. He stepped down as CODOFIL President in January 2011. Governor John Bel Edwards reappointed him to CODOFIL's Board in 2016 and 2020. There are twenty-three (23) CODOFIL board members, who all serve four (4) year terms and receive no salary. Pursuant to La. R.S. 36:209(R) and La. R.S. 36:801.1, CODOFIL was transferred to and placed within the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism ("DCRT") in 2015.
Mr. Perrin is also the Founder, Director, President, Vice-President, and Secretary/Treasurer of the Foundation, which was formed in 1991. The Foundation, a 501(3)(C) non-profit corporation, owns Acadian Museum of Erath. None of the Foundation's Board Members, including Mr. Perrin, receive a salary. The Foundation and Museum are supported by thirty (30) volunteers.

DCRT decided to award a $10,000.00 grant to the Foundation. Pursuant to the Grant Agreement, the Foundation is required to ensure that the grant funds are provided to Dr. Jason Theriot to assist with the development, production, and launch of the Frenchie Podcast. The Frenchie Podcast is dedicated to sharing the stories and legacies of the French-speaking Cajuns of WWII, as told by the veterans themselves. The CODOFIL Board Members, including and specifically Mr. Perrin, played no role in DCRT's decision to award the grant to the Foundation. CODOFIL Board Members have no vote or voice in CODOFIL expenditures and DCRT's grant award considerations and decisions.
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. 42:1111(E)(1)
provides that no public servant, and no legal entity of which such public servant is an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee, or in which such public servant has a substantial economic interest, shall receive or agree to receive any thing of economic value for assisting a person in a transaction, or in an appearance in connection with a transaction, with the agency of such public servant.
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. 42:1113(B) prohibits an appointed member of any board or commission, member of his immediate family, or a legal entity in which he has a substantial economic interest, from bidding on or entering into or being in any way interested in any contract, subcontract, or other transaction which is under the supervision or jurisdiction of the agency of such appointed member.
Adopt the proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: LaToya Jordan
2021-480 - Advisory Opinion Request Warren A. Perrin
2021-07-22 Advisory Opinion.draft.v2 (Docket No. 2021-480)