June 27, 2011
Honorable Glen B. McGlothin, Jr.
Town of Ferriday
1116 Second Street
Ferriday, LA 71334
RE: Ethics Board Docket No. 2011-744
Dear Mayor McGlothin:
The Louisiana Board of Ethics, at its June 17, 2011 meeting, considered your request for an advisory opinion regarding whether the owner of Womack and Sons Construction, Glen Womack, may submit a bid to construct the Town of Ferriday's new water plant or to furnish and install the Town's water meters, where Mr. Womack's company, JCP Management, operates the Town's water system. You stated that the Town of Ferriday anticipates hiring JCP Management to operate the Town's water system. Glen Womack owns 52% of JCP Management, and his spouse, Judy Womack owns 48%. The Town anticipates advertising for the construction of a new water plant. The advertisement will be done in accordance with the public bid laws. The Town will also solicit proposals, via a Request for Proposals (RFPs) to furnish and install new water meters throughout the Town of Ferriday. Womack and Sons Construction Group is 52% owned by Glen Womack and 48% by his sons, James and Chase Womack. Womack and Sons would like to submit a bid to the Town of Ferriday for the construction of the new water system and installation of the Town’s water meters.
The Board concluded, and instructed me to advise you, that the Code of Governmental Ethics will prohibit Womack and Sons Construction from submitting a bid and/or proposal for the construction of the Town’s water system and the installation of the Town’s water meters if the projects are supervised by JCP Management. Section 1113 of the Code prohibits the public servant, his immediate family members, or a legal entity in which the public servant has a controlling interest from bidding on, contracting, subcontracting, or entering into any transaction that is under the supervision of the agency of the public servant. A controlling interest is defined by the Code of Ethics as an interest that is greater than 25%.
JCP Management and all of the employees of JCP Management involved in the operation of the Town's water system are public employees by virtue of JCP Management’s contracts with the Town for the limited scope of running the water system. JCP Management and those employees working on the Town's water system are subject to the provisions of the Code of Governmental Ethics. Therefore, Section 1113 of the Code will prohibit Womack and Sons Construction, Mr. Womack and any other entity in which Mr. Womack or an immediate family member has a controlling interest, from submitting bids or entering into any other transactions that are under the supervision of the JCP Management.
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