June 27, 2011
Greg Hill, Chief of Police
Leesville Police Department
Leesville, LA 71496
RE: Ethics Board Docket No. 2011-724
Dear Chief Hill:
The Louisiana Board of Ethics, at its June 17, 2011 meeting, considered your request for an advisory opinion regarding whether Sergeant Gary Scott of the Leesville Police Department may continue to serve as a part-time probation officer while he serves as Sergeant of the Police Department. You stated that as Sergeant of Leesville Police Department, Gary Scott commands a shift and makes arrests. He is paid by the City of Leesville. As a part-time probation officer for the Leesville City Court, Mr. Scott supervises offenders who have been released from incarceration, some of whom he previously arrested. The purpose of the Leesville Police Department is to work within the structure of the constitution, state statutes, and City Charter to enforce all laws, preserve the peace, diminish fear, and provide safe conditions within the city.
The Board concluded, and instructed me to advise you, that the Code of Governmental Ethics will not prohibit Mr. Scott from continuing to serve as a part-time probation officer while he serves as a Sergeant for the Police Department. Section 1111C(1)(a) of the Code prohibits a public servant from receiving anything of economic value for any service which is devoted substantially to the responsibilities, programs, or operations of the agency of the public servant and in which the public servant has participated. As a police officer, Mr. Scott is responsible for arresting persons who violate the law. As a probation officer, Mr. Scott is responsible for supervising offenders who have been released from jail. It does not appear that the supervision of formerly incarcerated individuals is a service that is devoted substantially to the responsibilities, operations, or programs of the police department. Therefore, there is no violation of the Code if Mr. Scott serves as a part-time probation officer while he serves as Sergeant of the Police Department.
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 Code of Ethics. The Board issues no opinion as to past conduct or laws other than the Code of Governmental Ethics. If you have any questions, please contact me at (225) 219-5600 or (800) 842-6630.
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
Aneatra P. Boykin
For the Board