Agenda Item
Docket No. 24-125
Advisory Opinion Request from Fire Chief Ken Bouvier, on behalf of the City of Westwego Fire Department ("WFD"), for an advisory opinion as to whether WFD may promote an employee to the position of Assistant Fire Chief of Fire Prevention while his father serves as Assistant Fire Chief of Operations.
WFD has two assistant fire chiefs, the Assistant Fire Chief of Fire Prevention and the Assistant Fire Chief of Operations. Lonny Taylor currently holds the position of Assistant Fire Chief of Operations within the WFD. He has held that position since June 2022. Justin Taylor, Lonny Taylor's son has been employed within WFD since July 2011 as a Firefighter/Operator.
The Assistant Fire Chief of Fire Prevention has recently retired. The position has been offered to three qualified candidates who have declined the position. Accordingly, Justin Taylor would be next in line to be offered the position of Assistant Fire Chief of Fire Prevention.
Both assistant fire chief positions report directly to the Fire Chief, and do not report to each other or have supervision over each other.
La. R.S. 42:1112B(1) states that no public servant shall participate in a transaction involving the governmental entity in which, to his actual knowledge, any member of his immediate family has a substantial economic interest.
La. R.S. 42:1119A states that no member of the immediate family of an agency head shall be employed in his agency.
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(3) defines "agency head" to mean the chief executive or administrative officer of an agency or any member of a board or commission who exercises supervision over the agency
La. R.S. 42:1102(13) defines "immediate family" as the term relates to a public servant to mean his children, the spouses of his children, his brothers and their spouses, his sisters and their spouses, his parents, his spouse, and the parents of his spouse.
La. R.S. 42:1102(18)(a) defines "public employee" to mean any person, 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.
La. R.S. 42:1102(19) defines "public servant" to mean a public employee or elected official.
Adopt proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Charles Reeves
2024-125 - AO
2024-125 - Advisory Opinion Draft - Bouvier