Agenda Item
Docket No. 23-1067
Advisory Opinion request from Patrick Ottinger with Ottinger Hebert LLC, regarding his appointment as City-Parish Attorney for Lafayette Consolidated Government, as well as his appointment of Assistant City-Parish Attorneys who are employed at Ottinger Hebert LLC.
Patrick Ottinger is a member of the private practice law firm Ottinger Hebert LLC. Since January 1, 2023, Mr. Ottinger is compensated solely as a percentage of his own personal billings to clients. He does not receive any portion of revenues received by the firm with respect to billings by others, including attorneys. Neither Mr. Ottinger, nor his firm, represents clients in matters before or adverse to Lafayette Consolidated Government ("LCG").
Mr. Ottinger was recently appointed as City-Parish Attorney for the new administration of Lafayette Mayor-President Monique Blanco Boulet. His appointment is subject to approval by the Lafayette Parish Council and City Council pursuant to Lafayette Home Rule Charter Section 4-03A. The City-Parish Attorney acts as the director of the Legal Department and serves under the direction and supervision of the Mayor-President. LCG will pay his attorney fees to his firm, Ottinger Hebert LLC, who will then remit a portion of the payments to Mr. Ottinger as part of his compensation. Mr. Ottinger asks whether this compensation arrangement as City-Parish Attorney presents any issues under the Code.
Further, as City-Parish Attorney, Lafayette Home Rule Charter Section 4-03D gives Mr. Ottinger the authority to designate other attorneys as Assistant City-Parish Attorneys, who would serve at his pleasure. It is Mr. Ottinger's intention to appoint attorneys who are currently employed at Ottinger Hebert LLC as Assistant City-Parish Attorneys on an as-needed basis. LCG will pay all fees for those Assistant City-Parish Attorneys working at Ottinger Hebert LLC directly to Ottinger Hebert LLC, who will then remit a portion of those fees to the individual attorneys as part of their normal compensation. Mr. Ottinger will not receive any compensation for any portion of the fees paid to Ottinger Hebert LLC attributable to the work of any Assistant City-Parish attorneys or any paralegals. The Assistant City-Parish Attorney will not receive additional compensation from Ottinger Hebert LLC for the work performed for LCG.
La. R.S. 42:1111A(1)(a): No public servant shall receive anything of economic value, other than compensation and benefits from the governmental entity to which he is duly entitled, for the performance of the duties and responsibilities of his office or position.
La. R.S. 42:1112B(3) prohibits a public servant from participating in a governmental transaction in which any person of which he is an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee has a substantial economic interest.
La. R.S. 42:1112B(5) prohibits a public servant from participating in a transaction in which the following person has a substantial economic interest: Any person who is a party to an existing contract with such public servant, or with any legal entity in which the public servant exercises control or owns an interest in excess of twenty-five percent, or who owes any thing of economic value to such public servant, or to any legal entity in which the public servant exercises control or owns an interest in excess of twenty-five percent, and who by reason thereof is in a position to affect directly the economic interests of such public servant.

To be made at meeting.
Assigned Attorney: David Bordelon
2023-1067 - Proposed Advisory Opinion Draft - Ottinger 2.6.24
2023-1067 - AO
2023-1067- Additional Information (2)
2023-1067- AO 2000-358 (3)