Agenda Item
Docket No. 23-275
Advisory opinion request concerning Vic Lafont being employed by both the South Louisiana Economic Council and Nicholls State University.
The South Louisiana Economic Council (SLEC) is a non-profit organization that was established in 1984 and domiciled on the Nicholls State University (NiSU) campus since that time. SLEC and NiSU have a cooperative endeavor agreement (CEA) to work on regional economic development.

In 3 prior opinions, the Board has concluded that SLEC is a private entity.

BD 2002-830 - the Board concluded that a legislator could work for SLEC since it was a private entity. The facts were that SLEC is a nonprofit organization funded through private donations, the parish and state contracts.

BD 2004-583 - the Board concluded that SLEC could purchase property from one of its board members, based on the opinion in 2002-830 that SLEC is a private entity.

BD 2014-413 - the Board concluded that the Code did not prohibit SLEC board members from participating in projects with SLEC since it is a private entity.

Vic Lafont is currently serving as SLEC President and CEO. SLEC's board of directors has approved Mr. Lafont continuing to work for SLEC on a part-time basis and working part-time for NiSU as the university's Director of Regional Economic Development. This would be accomplished by amending the CEA between SLEC and NiSU, in which SLEC will reimburse NiSU for the costs associated with the Director of Regional Economic Development. The Director's office will be located in SLEC's Office; however, as Director, Mr. Lafont will not be required or have authority/responsibility to negotiate or sign contracts, CEAs or memorandums of understanding with SLEC.

As Director, Mr. Lafont's primary job purpose is to develop, supervise, plan and manage an economic development entity within NiSU, and to represent NiSU President in providing economic development leadership. The Director will interact, engage and collaborate with business and industry, and other regional partners to position the university as a leader in regional economic development.

R.S. 42:1111C(2)(d) prohibits a public servant from receiving a thing of economic value for services rendered to or for a person that has or is seeking to have a contractual, business, or financial relationship with the public servant's agency.
Adopt draft of advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Kathleen Allen
2023-275 - AO
2023-275 - Advisory Opinion Draft - Rachal