Agenda Item
Docket No. 23-734
Advisory opinion as to whether the Code of Governmental Ethics ("Code") prohibits Neal Poche, II, a St. James Parish Councilman, from continuing his employment as a salesman for Green Point AG, a vendor of St. James Parish Government.
Neal Poche, II, was recently elected to the St. James Parish Council. He is currently employed as a salesman with Green Point AG. Mr. Poche is paid a salary and is eligible for a year-end bonus that is dependent on the financial performance of the individual local Green Point AG store. Mr. Poche has no ownership interest in Green Point AG. Green Point AG is a current vendor of St. James Parish Government. St. James Parish Government purchases chemicals and supplies from Green Point AG. The St. James Parish Council does not determine who the administration purchases from or the pricing. The St. James Parish Council does approve all Parish disbursements.
La. R.S. 42:1102 provides the following definitions:

(2)(a) "Agency" means a department, office, division, agency, commission, board, committee, or other organizational unit of a governmental entity. (vi) For public servants of political subdivisions, it shall 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; sheriffs and their employees; district attorneys and their employees; coroners and their employees; and clerks of court and their employees.

(19) "Public servant" means a public employee or an elected official.

(20.1) "Service" means the performance of work, duties, or responsibilities, or the leasing, rental, or sale of movable or immovable property.

(23) "Transaction involving the governmental entity" means any proceeding, application, submission, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, case, or other such particular matter which the public servant or former public servant of the governmental entity in question knows or should know: (a) Is, or will be, the subject of action by the governmental entity. (b) Is one to which the governmental entity is or will be a party. (c) Is one in which the governmental entity has a direct interest. A transaction involving the agency of a governmental entity shall have the same meaning with respect to the agency.

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. 42:1117. No public servant or other person shall give, pay, loan, transfer, or deliver or offer to give, pay, loan, transfer, or deliver, directly or indirectly, to any public servant or other person any thing of economic value which such public servant or other person would be prohibited from receiving by any provision of this Part.

Adopt proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Tracy Barker
2023-734 - AO
2023-734 - Advisory Opinion Draft - Boughton