Walter Pierce

Ethics board reduces fine against former candidate

by Walter Pierce

The state Board of Ethics has agreed to reduce the fine against a former candidate for state representative. George Bourgeois, an Opelousas attorney, was fined $480 dollars by the board for filing a campaign report eight days late. Bourgeois was an unsuccessful candidate in the District 40 state representative election in August. According to a board spokeswoman, Bourgeois’ fine was reduced to $200. The board declined to waive or reduce a $400 fine against District 7 Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Don Bertrand, who was 161 days late in filing a campaign report in connection with his successful October 2007 election.

Upcoming at the Ethics Administration, the board next week will hear a request by District 8 Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Keith Patin to withdraw a request for an advisory opinion. The board was contacted by Pat Ottinger, city-parish attorney, for an advisory opinion on whether Patin, then employed by a company that contracts with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office to provide nurses at the parish jail, was in violation of any ethics laws. However, Patin has since ended his employment with the company, hence withdrawal request.