Agenda Item
Docket No. 22-012
Advisory Opinion request from Jeffery J. Thomas, with Equity Media, as to the rehiring of New Orleans City Council member Oliver Thomas as a WBOK radio talk show host.
Equity Media owns and operates WBOK 1230 am radio. WBOK is a talk show format station that discusses a wide array of issues relevant to the nation, the State of Louisiana, and the City of New Orleans, including local politics. Oliver Thomas was a WBOK radio talk show host who took a leave of absence to run for elected office. Mr. Thomas was elected to the New Orleans City Council on December 11, 2021. His current term expires on January 11, 2026.

Jeffrey Thomas stated that while WBOK does not have a business relationship with the New Orleans City Council, that the New Orleans Mayor's Office purchases advertisements and public service announcements with WBOK. Those purchases do not require approval by the New Orleans City Council.

La. R.S. 42:1111(C)(2)(d) provides that no public servant ... 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.
La. R.S. 42:1102(2)(a)(vi) defines "agency" for public servants of political subdivisions to mean the agency in which the public servant serves, except that for members of any governing authority and for the elected or appointed chief executive of a governmental entity, it shall mean the governmental entity. Public servants of political subdivisions shall include, but shall not be limited to, elected officials and public employees of municipalities, parishes, and other political subdivisions.La. R.S. 42:1102(11) defines "governing authority to mean the body which exercises the legislative functions of a political subdivision.

La. R.S. 42: 1102(12) defines "governmental entity" to mean the state or any political subdivision to which the elected official is elected.
Adopt the proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: David Bordelon
2022-012 - Advisory Opinion Request Jeffery J. Thomas
2022-012 Information from Jeff Thomas WBOK
2022-012- Media Article
2022-012 Agreement between Thomas and WBOK
2022-012 - Advisory Opinion Draft July