Agenda Item
Docket No. 23-600
Request for an advisory opinion as to whether the Code of Governmental Ethics ("Code") prohibits the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board from entering into transactions with the New Wine Development Corporation, Inc.
Over the past several years, the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board ("School Board") has entered into agreements with the New Wine Development Corporation, Inc. for the following types of services:

1. Before and After School Care and Tutoring

2. Stem/Enrichment Summer Camp

The School Board utilized grant funding to award scholarships to students to attend before/after care, tutoring and summer camp. New Wine Development Corporation would invoice the School Board and the School Board would pay invoices primarily through grants awarded to the School Board.

The School Board has also entered into agreements for compensation with New Wine Christian Fellowship Church for the use of their building for School Awards Ceremonies, College and Career Fairs, and meetings. New Wine Christian Fellowship Church and New Wine Development Corporation, Inc. has also contracted with the School Board for use of its school buses for the purpose of bringing students on field trips, and transporting volunteers.

Samuel Mamou was elected to the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board (District 7) on November 8, 2022.

Neil J. Bernard is the Director of New Wine Christian Fellowship Church, Inc., and is Samuel Mamou's father-in-law. Neil Justin Bernard is the Executive Director of New Wine Development Corporation, and is Kristen Mamou's brother. Kristen Mamou is Samuel Mamou's spouse.

Kristen Mamou is the Executive Director of the Summer Camp run by New Wine Development Corporation.

New Wine Development Corporation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. As such, New Wine Development Corporation is not owned by a particular individual, but led by a President/Board Chairperson, Neil Justin Bernard. Neil Justin Bernard serves to meet the needs of the community as outlined by the Internal Revenue Service nonprofit/charitable organizations. Neither Neil J. Bernard nor Kristen Mamou have ownership interest nor operate the New Wine Development Corporation.

La. R.S. 42:1112B. No public servant, except as provided in R.S. 42:1120, shall participate in a transaction involving the governmental entity in which he or his immediate family members have a substantial economic interest.

La. R.S. 42:1113A(1)(a) No public servant, excluding any legislator and any appointed member of any board or commission and any member of a governing authority of a parish with a population of ten thousand or less, or member of such a public servant's immediate family, or legal entity in which he has a controlling interest shall bid on or enter into any contract, subcontract, or other transaction that is under the supervision or jurisdiction of the agency of such public servant.

La. R.S. 42:1111(C)(2)(d) 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 from whom such public servant would be prohibited by R.S. 42:1115(A)(1) or (B) from receiving a gift.

La. R.S. 42:1115A. No public servant shall solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, anything of economic value as a gift or gratuity from 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:

(1) Has or is seeking to obtain contractual or other business or financial relationships with the public servant's agency.

La. R.S. 42:1114A requires a public servant and his immediate family members who derive a thing of economic value from a person that has a contractual with the public servant's agency to file annual income disclosure reports.

Adopt the proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Mallory Guillot
2023-600 - AO
2023-600- NWDC Owner Interest (signed)
2023-600 - Advisory Opinion Draft - Johnson