August 23, 2010
Mr. Eric F. Skrmetta, JD, LL.M
117 Sena Drive
Metairie, Louisiana 70005
Re: Ethics Board Docket No. 2010-676
Dear Mr. Skrmetta:
The Louisiana Board of Ethics, at its August 20, 2010 meeting, considered your request for an advisory opinion as to whether you may serve on a nonprofit board which receives a financial donation from a company that is regulated by the Louisiana Public Service Commission at a time when you serve as a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission.
The Board concluded, and instructed me to inform you, that the Code of Governmental Ethics would not prohibit you from serving on the board of a nonprofit that receives a financial donation from a company that is regulated by the Louisiana Public Service Commission at a time when you serve as a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission.
However, the Board concluded, and instructed me to inform you, that Section 1112B(3) of the Code would prohibit you from participating in matters before the Louisiana Public Service Commission involving a nonprofit on which you serve as a board member has a substantial economic interest. Section 1112B(3) of the Code states that no public servant shall participate in a transaction involving the governmental entity in which, to his actual knowledge, any person of which he is an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee has a substantial economic interest. Section 1120 of the Code provides that any elected official, who is required to vote on a matter in violation of Section 1112 of the Code, must recuse himself from voting. The elected official is not prohibited from participating in discussion and debate concerning the matter provided that he verbally discloses the nature of the conflict or potential conflict during his participation in the discussion or debate prior to any vote being taken.
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 M. Barker
For the Board