Agenda Item
Docket No. 23-813
Advisory Opinion request from John M. Spain, a member of Southern Rail Commission, regarding potential conflicts of interest if he works on passenger rail projects with the State of Louisiana or other consulting firms.
The Southern Rail Commission (the "SRC") was created by the United States Congress in 1982. The members of the SRC are appointed by governors of the member states (Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama).
Mr. Spain has been appointed by Governors Jindal and Edwards as a member of the SRC, and he currently serves as a member of the SRC.
Mr. Spain recently formed a company, John Spain Consulting LLC, and he would like to work on passenger rail projects. This work may involve contracting with the State of Louisiana, as well as other consulting firms who may contract with the State of Louisiana on rail projects.
La. R.S. 42:1113B prohibits an appointed member of any board or commission, member of his immediate family, or a legal entity in which he has a substantial economic interest, from bidding on or entering into or being in any way interested in any contract, subcontract, or other transaction which is under the supervision or jurisdiction of the agency of such appointed member.
La. R.S. 42:1102(2)(a)(i) defines "agency" to mean a department, office, division, agency, commission, board, committee, or other organizational unit of a governmental entity.
La. R.S. 42:1102(12) defines "governmental entity" to mean the state or any political subdivision which employs the public employee or employed the former public employee or to which the elected official is elected, as the case may be.
La. R.S. 42:1102(19) defines "public employee" to mean anyone, whether compensated or not, who is (i) an administrative officer or official of a governmental entity who is not filling an elective office; (ii) appointed 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; (iii) engaged in the performance of a governmental function; (iv) under the supervision or authority of an elected official or another employee of the governmental entity.
Adopt proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Charles Reeves
2023-813 - AO
2023-813 - Advisory Opinion Draft - Spain