Agenda Item
Docket No. 24-136
Advisory Opinion request on behalf of Tommy Cvitanovich, an appointed member of the La Stadium & Exposition District, in connection with the Zurich Classic held at TPC Louisiana Golf Course.
Tommy Cvitanovich was recently appointed as a member of the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District ("LSED") Board of Commissioners. LSED, an agency of the State of Louisiana, is responsible for the John A. Alario Sr. Event Center, Caesars Superdome, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans Saints Training Facility, TPC Louisiana Golf Course, and the Shrine on Airline. LSED contracts with the PGA Tour to host the annual Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana Golf Course in Avondale. The 2024 Zurich Classic will be held April 22nd through April 28th. LSED has no jurisdiction or role in the Zurich Classic, or the sponsors and vendors, beyond the use of the golf course. LSED receives no free or discounted tickets for any of the Zurich Classic events.
Mr. Cvitanovich is the co-owner of Drago's Seafood Restaurant. Drago's annually donates food and services to the Zurich Classic food stations. Drago's also pays $5,000 for a parking pass sponsorship. Drago's also donates oysters for Zurich Classic food stations for the Pro-Am Day prior to the start of the PGA Tournament play.
Mr. Cvitanovich is also a member of Fore!Kids Foundation, Inc. ("FKF"), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, that raises money through various golf events to fund children's service organizations through out the state. FKF is a participating sponsor in the 2024 Zurich Classic. Mr. Cvitanovich was selected as FKF's 2024 Zurich Classic Tournament Chairman, which is a volunteer role. Mr. Cvitanovich will deliver a speech and present checks to the winning golfers. Mr. Cvitanovich purchases tickets to the event for himself and his employees at face value. FKF provides a $500 stipend to Drago's to cover part of the labor costs of the Zurich Classic food stations.
Mr. Cvitanovich is a former board member of the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation ("LHF"), a non-profit corporation, which supports Louisiana's hospitality industry workforce. LHF contracts with FKF to host three food and drink tents at the Zurich Classic. Eighteen restaurants, including Drago's, donates food, drinks, and labor at the three tents. LHF and FKF reimburse the food costs, but no restaurant makes a profit for participating at the tents.
Finally, Zurich Insurance, the title sponsor of the Zurich Classic, purchases food from Drago's at regular menu prices for its employees and customers to enjoy at the event following tournament play.
Mr. Cvitanovich asks whether his appointment as a member of the LSED Board affects his and Drago's participation in these events at the Zurich Classic.
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; conducts operations or activities which are regulated by the public employee's agency; or has substantial economic interests which may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the public employee's official duty.
Adopt the proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: David Bordelon
2024-136 - AO
2024-136 - Advisory Opinion Draft - Cvitanovich