Agenda Item
Docket No. 24-193
Advisory opinion request regarding whether the Code of Governmental Ethics prohibits employees of the Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Office and their immediate family members may bid and purchase surplus items through a public auction site.
Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Office has four divisions: Uniform Patrol Division, Criminal Investigation Division, Civil Division, and the Corrections Division. Property auctioned by the Sheriff's Office is handled by the Civil Division. The Sheriff's Office auctions its surplus items on a website called Major Scott Floyd prepares the items on the site and send for an approval from the site to post items for public auction. The auction is open to the general public with over 5 million users. When the items are listed, the Sheriff's Office has no information as to the bidders and who wins the bid until the end of the auction. When the sale is final, Major Floyd receives notification that the auction has ended and the winning bidder must pay for the items through the GovDeals website. The winning bidder receives a bill of sale to bring to the Sheriff's Office to pick up the title if a title is available for the item sold.
La. R.S. 42:1113A(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. 42:1102 (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(2)(a)(vi) For public servants of political subdivisions, "agency" shall mean the agency in which the public servant serves, except that for members of any governing authority and for the elected or appointed chief executive of a governmental entity, it shall mean the governmental entity. Public servants of political subdivisions shall include, but shall not be limited to, elected officials and public employees of municipalities, parishes, and other political subdivisions; sheriffs and their employees; district attorneys and their employees; coroners and their employees; and clerks of court and their employees.

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.

Adopt proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Tracy Barker
2024-193 - AO
2024-193 - Advisory Opinion Draft - Floyd