Created By: Sylvia Scott on 12/08/2009 at 03:20 PM
Category: Campaign Finance Rulings
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
DATE: November 20, 2009 OPINION NO.: 2008-668
RE: In the Matter of John T. Lavarine, III
The Louisiana Board of Ethics (“the Board”), in its capacity as the Supervisory Committee on Campaign Finance Disclosure, pursuant to the authority contained in LSA-R.S. 18:1511.4, conducted a confidential investigation concerning information that revealed that John T. Lavarine, III, an unsuccessful candidate for Councilman at Large for the City of Kenner in the April 1, 2006 election, may have violated provisions of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by using funds from one election to pay the debt of a prior election.
On the basis of information obtained during the investigation, and with the concurrence of John T. Lavarine, III, the Board now makes the following essential:
I. John T. Lavarine, III was an unsuccessful candidate for Councilman at Large for the City of Kenner in the April 1, 2006 election.
FINDINGS OF FACT
2. John T. Lavarine, III filed an Annual campaign finance disclosure report in connection with a future election which disclosed an expenditure in the amount of $500 paid to the John Lavarine, III Council at Large Fund.
3. On August 9, 2009, Mr. Lavarine filed an amended report indicating that he had reimbursed the $500 to his campaign account for the future election.
II. La. R.S. 18:1505.2H sets forth contribution limits for candidates:
(1)(a) The following contribution limits are established for contributions made to candidates or the principal campaign committee and any subsidiary committee of a candidate for the following offices:
(I) Major office - five thousand dollars.
(ii) District office - two thousand five hundred dollars.
(iii) Other office - one thousand dollars.
In Ethics Board Docket No. 2002-170 the Board concluded that since the contribution limits apply on a per election basis, a candidate may not use funds from one election to satisfy debts from a prior election. Based on the facts as outlined above, it is the opinion of the Board that John T. Lavarine, III violated Section 1505.2H of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act. It is further the opinion of the Board that a $500 penalty, payable to Treasurer of the State of Louisiana, should be imposed upon John T. Lavarine, III for the violation of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act.
IV.For the foregoing reasons:
DECREE AND ORDER
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Board finds as a matter of fact and as a conclusion of law that John T. Lavarine, III violated Section 1505.2H of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that a civil penalty of $500, payable to the Treasurer of the State of Louisiana, be imposed upon John T. Lavarine, III, for the violation of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act.
By Order of the Board this 20th day of November 2009.
s/Frank P. Simoneaux s/Scott E. Frazier
Frank P. Simoneaux, Chairman Scott E. Frazier, Vice-Chairman
s/Dr. Robert P. Bareikis s/Rev. Gail E. Bowman
Dr. Robert P. Bareikis Rev. Gail E. Bowman
s/James G. Boyer s/Gary G. Hymel
James G. Boyer Gary G. Hymel
Absent and did not participate. s/Dr. Cedric W. Lowrey
Jean M. Ingrassia Dr. Cedric W. Lowrey
s/M. Blake Monrose s/Scott D. Schneider
M. Blake Monrose Scott D. Schneider
s/David Grove Stafford, Jr.
David Grove Stafford, Jr.
The undersigned (a) stipulates to the facts found by the Board; (b) waives the procedural requirements contained in Section 1141 of the Code; c) admits that her conduct, as described above, violated La. R.S. 18:1505.2H of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act; (d) acknowledges the publication of this opinion; (e) agrees to comply with the conditions and orders set forth in this opinion; and (f) agrees not to seek judicial review of the findings and actions taken in this opinion.
s/John T. Lavarine, III 10/7/09
John T. Lavarine, III Date