Public officials cannot use campaign funds to purchase new clothes for themselves or pay travel expenses for their spouses. That's the opinion Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel received last week from the state Ethics Administration. Durel had recently requested clarification on the issue from the ethics board, writing, “I have not and will not reimburse any of these expenses until I get your response." The advisory opinion, which has not yet been posted on the Ethics Administration's Web site, was reported in yesterday's "Political Briefs" column in The Advocate. The article reports:
The board cited past opinions in a number of cases that relied on a provision that the personal use of campaign funds is pretty much prohibited. One exception on the clothing front would be purchase of a tuxedo to wear to formal events — since it would be related to the holding of public office, the board said.