Walter Pierce

Ethics board nixes Scott two-fer

by Walter Pierce

The Louisiana Board of Ethics has put the kibosh on the tourist coordinator for the city of Scott earning side income by giving tours of the city using her own touring company. In a recent advisory letter to Scott Mayor Hazel Myers, Deidra L. Godfrey, writing for the board, says such the state ethics code “prohibits a public servant from accepting anything of economic value from a person who has or is seeking to have a business or financial relationship with the public servants agency.”

Myers had requested an advisory opinion from the board on whether Redell Miller, who is employed as the city’s tourist coordinator, could conduct a one-day bus tour of the city that included stops at Bourque’s Social Club and the Floyd Sonnier Art Gallery. Proceeds from the tour would have been split between La Maison de Begnaud, a cultural center and gift shop owned by the city, and Miller. Godfrey adds:
Such arrangement would be a violation of Section 1111C(2)(d) because her company would be a prohibited source of income by virtue of the contract with her agency. The arrangement would also represent a prohibited transaction under 1112(B)(2) as Ms. Redell would be participating in a transaction involving the city and her company, an entity in which she has a substantial economic interest. Also, Section 1113 prohibits Ms. Redell’s company from entering into any contract or other transaction with her agency (the City of Scott).
In an unrelated opinion, the board gave the green light to James McFaul, a part-time compensated consultant to the Lafayette Association of Retarded Citizens, Inc., to accept an appointment to the Region IV Human Service District Board — as long as LARC doesn’t have or seek a contract or other business with the HSDB.