Agenda Item
Docket No. 23-786
Request for an advisory opinion regarding whether the Code of Governmental Ethics ("Code") permits Dannie P. Garrett III to serve on the Office of Group Benefits Policy and Planning Board due to his past representation of the Louisiana School Boards Association.
Dannie P. Garrett III is currently a member of the Office of Group Benefits Policy and Planning Board ("OGB Board"). On August 23, 2023, Louisiana House of Representatives Speaker Clay Schexnayder appointed Mr. Garrett to fill a vacancy on the OGB Board. He was sworn in as a member of the OGB Board on August 25, 2023.

Mr. Garrett has represented the Louisiana School Boards Association ("LSBA") for a number of years and currently serves as its Executive Counsel. He also maintains a private law firm and is the sole member of Louisiana Government Strategies, LLC, through which he represents the St. Tammany Parish School Board as a registered lobbyist. He has also performed some redistricting work for a number of local jurisdictions across the state. His wife is an employee of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System; however, neither Mr. Garrett, nor Mrs. Garrett, are members of OGB. Mr. Garrett states that he will not represent any client in transactions involving the OGB Board.

La. R.S. 42:1111(E)(1): 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. 42:1102(16) defines a "Person" as an individual or legal entity other than a governmental entity or agency thereof.

La. R.S. 42:1102(18)(ii) defines a "Public employee" as anyone, whether compensated or not, who is "[a]ppointed by any elected official when acting in an official capacity, and the appointment is to a post or position wherein the appointee is to serve the governmental entity or an agency thereof, either as a member of an agency, or as an employee thereof;

La. R.S. 42:1102(19) defines "Public servant" as a public employee or an elected official.

La. R.S. 24:56F provides that "[n]o state employee in his official capacity or on behalf of his agency shall lobby for or against any matter intended to have the effect of law pending before the legislature or any committee thereof."

Adopt the proposed Advisory Opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Mallory Guillot
2023-786 - AO
2023-786 - Advisory Opinion Draft - Garrett