April 20, 2010
Honorable Charles E. Hudson, Mayor
Town of Merryville
Post Office Box 607
Merryville, Louisiana 70653
Re: Ethics Board Docket No. 2010-246
Dear Mayor Hudson:
The Louisiana Board of Ethics, at its April 16, 2010 meeting, considered your request for an advisory opinion as to whether certain issues would arise if certain individuals were elected to the Town Council of the Town of Merryville. You asked the following specific questions:
(1) You stated that Tami Longoria is married to the Town of Merryville's Chief of Police. You asked whether Ms. Longoria would be allowed to vote and participate on matters involving the Police Department if she was elected to the Merryville Town Council?
(2) You stated that Sarah Whitehead's mother, Wanda Naquin, is an employee of the Town of Merryville. You asked whether Ms. Naquin would be able to continue her employment if Ms. Whitehead is elected and, if so, whether Ms. Whitehead may vote on any matters involving her mother's employment?
(3) You stated that Mark Allen is the Town's current web designer and maintains the website. You stated that the Town has a contract with Easy K. Enterprises. You asked whether Mr. Allen can continue to maintain the website if he is elected to the Town Council?
(4) You stated that Elton R. Havens and Teresa Havens are married. You further stated that the Havens own a building that is leased to XL Bingo, which has a contract with the Town of Merryville. You asked whether married spouses can serve on the Town Council together? You also asked whether the Havens can lease a building to a person that has a contract with the Town Council?
(5) You stated that Billie Johnson is the sister-in-law to Ms. Whitehead. You asked whether family members are allowed to serve on the Town Council together.
The Board concluded, and instructed me to inform you, that it declined to render the requested opinion as it does not appear that you have standing to request the opinion. Section 601 of the Rules for the Board of Ethics provides that the Board will only render advisory opinions to “affected persons.” “Affected person” is defined in the Board’s Rules as “any Honorable Charles E. Hudson, Mayor
April 20, 2010
Ethics Board Docket No. 2010-246
person or governmental agency, or the authorized representative of such person or agency with a demonstrable and objective interest in the Board’s interpretation, construction, and application of any law within the Board’s jurisdiction.”
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 as to laws other than the Code of Governmental Ethics. If you have any questions, please contact me at (800) 842-6630 or (225) 219-5600.
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
Tracy K. Meyer
For the Board