Agenda Item
Docket No. 24-073
Advisory Opinion request from Benjamin Clay, an elected member of the St. Martin Parish Council, regarding his employment with Electronic Protection Systems LLC.
Benjamin Clay was recently elected as a member of the St. Martin Parish Council. His term began on January 8, 2024, and ends on January 10, 2028.

Mr. Clay is employed as a Sales Representative for Electronic Protection Systems LLC ("EPS"), which sells security systems in the Lafayette area. Mr. Clay is paid on a salary basis and receives no commission for any sales unless the account is assigned to him. Mr. Clay does not have any ownership interest in EPS.

In the past, EPS has sold and installed security systems in various facilities owned by St. Martin Parish. Recently, St. Martin Parish solicited quotes for a replacement security camera system for the St. Martin Parish Correctional Center. Mr. Clay asks whether EPS can submit a bid to replace the security camera system at the St. Martin Parish Correctional Center while he serves as an elected member of the St. Martin Parish Council.
La. R.S. 42:1113(A)(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. 42:1112(B)(3): No public servant, except as provided in R.S. 42:1120, shall participate in a transaction involving the governmental entity in which, to his actual knowledge, any of the following persons has a substantial economic interest: Any person of which he is an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee. La. R.S. 42:1102(21) defines "substantial economic interest" to mean an economic interest which is of greater benefit to the public servant or other person than to a general class or group of persons.
La. R.S. 42:1120: If any elected official, in the discharge of a duty or responsibility of his office or position, would be required to vote on a matter which vote would be a violation of R.S. 42:1112, he shall recuse himself from voting. An elected official who recuses himself from voting pursuant to this Section shall not be prohibited from participating in discussion and debate concerning the matter, provided that he makes the disclosure of his conflict or potential conflict a part of the record of his agency prior to his participation in the discussion or debate and prior to the vote that is the subject of discussion or debate.

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 neither performed for nor compensated by any person who has or is seeking to obtain contractual or other business or financial relationships with the public servant's agency. La. R.S. 42:1102(16) defines "person" as an individual or legal entity, other than a governmental entity or an agency thereof.
La. R.S. 42:1117 provides that 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 the proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: David Bordelon
2024-073 - AO
2024-073 - Advisory Opinion Draft - Clay