2003-618
Created By: Margaret Sabadie on 08/18/2003 at 09:25 AM
Category: Ethics Advisory Opinions
Caption:

August 18, 2003

Ms. Laura T. Marler
Taylor & Trosclair
P.O. Drawer 1149
Opelousas, LA 70571-1149

Re: Ethics Board Docket No. 2003-618

Dear Ms. Marler:

The Louisiana Board of Ethics, at its August 14, 2003 meeting, considered your request for an advisory opinion concerning whether you may continue to provide legal services as a part-time City Attorney under a contract with the City of Opelousas when your husband's company, DesignPlus, LLC does business with several of the city’s departments. You stated that you work part-time as a City Attorney for Opelousas. You also stated that you are not on the city’s payroll. You provide legal services pursuant to a contract with the city and bill the city an hourly rate. Your husband, David Marler, owns a computer sales/repair business named DesignPlus which does business with various city departments.

The Board concluded and instructed me to inform you that the Code of Governmental Ethics does not prohibit you from continuing to provide legal services to the City of Opelousas provided that you do not render legal advice in matters involving the city and your husband’s business. Section 1113A prohibits a public servant, his immediate family, or a legal entity in which they own a controlling interest from bidding on or entering into a contract, subcontract or other transaction that is under the supervision or jurisdiction of the public servant's agency. Furthermore, Section 112B(1) prohibits a public servant from participating in a transaction involving the governmental entity in which his immediate family member has a substantial economic interest. As a contractor for the city, you are treated as a public servant only as to the services that you provide under your contract with the city. Therefore, your contract with City of Opelousas should be revised to specifically exclude any legal work for the city which involves your husband and his company, DesignPlus, and as long as you do not render legal advice in matters involving the city which involve DesignPlus, the Code does not prohibit you from continuing to provide legal services to the city.

The Board issues no opinion as to laws other than the Code of Governmental Ethics. If you have any questions, please contact me at (800) 842-6630 or (225) 763-8777.

Sincerely,

LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS




Peggy A. Sabadie
For the Board

...........................