October 8, 2009
Mr. L. J. “Joey” Durel, Jr.
City-Parish President, Lafayette Consolidated Government
705 W. University Avenue
P. O. Box 4017-C
Lafayette, Louisiana 70502
Re: Ethics Board Docket No. 2009-803
Dear Mr. Durel:
The Louisiana Board of Ethics (“Board”), at its September 30, 2009 meeting, considered your request for an advisory opinion regarding whether you may use campaign funds to 1) pay for your wife's travel expenses associated with travel related to your job as City-Parish President, 2) reimburse yourself for clothing expenses (business suits, formal wear, etc.) incurred by you to attend events related to your position, and 3) reimburse yourself for clothing expenses incurred by your wife to attend events related to your position.
La. R. S. 18:1505.2 I provides that campaign funds can be "expended for any lawful purpose, but such funds shall not be used . . . for any personal use unrelated to a political campaign [or] the holding of a public office . . ."
Unfortunately, the Board has considered such requests in the past and has consistently held that clothing expenses cannot be paid for out of campaign funds. Similarly, the Board, without the participation of Board Member Monrose, concluded that your wife’s travel expenses for travel related to your job cannot be paid for out of campaign funds. Thus, you may not use campaign funds to pay for these clothing and travel related expenses.
This advisory opinion is based solely on the facts as set forth herein. Changes to the facts as presented may result in a different application of the provisions of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act. The Board issues no opinion as to past conduct or as to laws other than the campaign finance laws.
If you have any questions, please contact me at (800) 842-6630 or (225) 219-5600.
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
Kathleen M. Allen
For the Board