The Louisiana Board of Ethics has charged Rina Tikia, a former insurance consultant for the Lafayette Parish School Board, for giving a board member tickets to a New Orleans Saints game.
The Ethics Board charged the Metairie-based insurance consultant on Jan. 15 for giving the two Saints tickets — worth about $300 apiece — to then-board member Mark Cockerham for a Nov. 17, 2013, home game against the San Francisco 49ers. The charges were made public Tuesday, confirming what The IND had originally reported last year in a breaking news story that first revealed Tikia’s attempt to grease the skids on the school board’s insurance selection process by offering the tickets to both Cockerham and Shelton Cobb, who was also on the board at the time. The issue even attracted the attention of the FBI, which interviewed several board members about the tickets in March 2014.
Due to a number of issues that arose during her handling of the insurance seletion process, Tikia — who had never signed an official contract with the school board — was ultimately fired by the board on Dec. 31, 2013. A lawsuit was threatened by Tikia against the LPSB claiming she's owed $200,000. Tikia's lawsuit was never filed, and the board has yet to pay out a dime, deciding in a vote last year to let the courts decide.
A date has not yet been set for Tikia's hearing before the Ethics Adjudicatory Board.