Agenda Item
Docket No. 23-968
Advisory Opinion request regarding whether the Code of Governmental Ethics ("Code") permits BCB Architects LLC to contract with the West Baton Rouge School Board while Matthew Daigrepont serves as a member of the West Baton Rouge School Board.
BCB Architects, LLC ("BCB") is a licensed architectural firm that provides services to clients throughout the state, including state and local governments. Bradley C. Guerin is the sole owner of BCB. Mr. Guerin is also a 75% owner of Fusion Architects, A Professional Corporation ("Fusion").

Matthew Daigrepont is an elected member of the West Baton Rouge Parish School Board. Mr. Daigrepont is also an architect employed by Fusion and is soon to be a 5% shareholder in Fusion. Mr. Daigrepont is not an employee, member, or shareholder of BCB. Mr. Daigrepont does not receive a salary, distributions, or any other compensation from BCB. Mr. Daigrepont does not have any authority or control of BCB.

BCB desires to pursue future contracts with the West Baton Rouge Parish School Board ("School Board"). BCB will not share any compensation or benefits received from any School Board contract with Fusion or Mr. Daigrepont. Mr. Daigrepont will not perform any work or render any services to or for BCB in connection with any School Board contract.

BCB's question is: "If Mr. Daigrepont discloses a potential conflict and recuses himself from any discussion or vote on a potential contract between the School Board and BCB, may BCB enter into such contract without any violation of Louisiana ethics rules and regulations?"

La. R.S. 42:1113A(1)(a) states no public servant, excluding any legislator and any appointed member of any board of 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. 42:1111C(2)(d) provides that 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 or from any officer, director, agent, or employee of such person, if such public servant knows or reasonably should know that such person has or is seeking to obtain contractual or other business or financial relationships with the public servant's agency.

La. R.S. 42:1112B(5) states that 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: (5) Any person…who owes any thing of economic value to such public servant…and who by reason thereof is in a position to affect directly the economic interests of such public servant.

La. R.S. 42:1120 provides that if an elected official, in the discharge of a duty or responsibility of his office or position, would be required to vote on a matter which 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 and debate and prior to the vote that is the subject of discussion or debate.

Adopt the proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Jessica Meiners
2023-968 - Advisory Opinion Draft - Whitlow
2023-968- Updated AO