CN 1996-132
Created By: Tobie Ronkartz on 12/16/1998 at 09:18 AM
Category: Ethics Rulings
Caption:


LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS

DATED: December 10, 1998 OPINION NO.: CN 96-132

RE: In the matter of Johnnie Sullivan d/b/a AAA Trophies

The Board of Ethics (the “Board”) pursuant to the authority contained in LSA-R.S. 42:1141, conducted a private investigation concerning information that Johnnie Sullivan, a part-time employee of the City of Kenner Recreation Department, may have violated Section 1113A of the Code of Governmental Ethics (LSA-R.S. 42:1101 et seq.) (the “Code”) by selling goods through his sole proprietorship, AAA Trophies, to the City of Kenner Recreation Department.
On the basis of information obtained by the Board during the course of this investigation, the Board scheduled a public hearing for October 15, 1998 for the purpose of exploring the following charge: On the eve of the public hearing, for the purpose of resolving this dispute, and with the concurrence of Johnnie Sullivan, the Board now makes the following essential:
I.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.
From August 1983 to September 1995, Johnnie Sullivan was employed part-time by the City of Kenner Recreation Department as a Playground Supervisor. In September of 1995, Johnnie Sullivan was employed part-time by the City of Kenner Recreation Department as an Adult Coordinator and continues to be employed in that capacity to date.
2.
Johnnie Sullivan is 100% owner of the sole proprietorship, AAA Trophies.
3.
During 1994-1995, AAA Trophies sold over $20,000 worth of awards, trophies and sporting goods to the City of Kenner Recreation Department. During 1995-1996, AAA Trophies sold over $9,000 worth of awards, trophies and sporting goods to the City of Kenner Recreation Department.
4.
Pursuant to a new City of Kenner Purchasing Policy, AAA Trophies stopped selling goods to all departments of the City of Kenner in 1996. AAA Trophies stopped selling goods to the Recreation Department immediately upon notification that conduct created possible violations of the State Ethics Laws.
5.
If called to testify, Johnnie Sullivan would state that prior to selling any goods to the City of Kenner Recreation Department, he contacted various officials within the City of Kenner to determine whether he was prohibited from entering into such sales and was not informed that such activity would constitute a violation of the Code of Governmental Ethics.
II.
APPLICABLE LAW
At issue in this case is Section 1113A of the Code of Governmental Ethics. Section 1113A imposes a restriction on contracts, subcontracts and other transactions which may be entered into by a public servant and provides in pertinent part as follows:
A. No public servant, . . . or member of such public servant’s immediate family, or legal entity in which he has a controlling interest shall bid on or enter into any contract, subcontract, or other transaction that is under the supervision or jurisdiction of the agency of such public servant.
III.
OPINION
It is the opinion of the Board that Johnnie Sullivan d/b/a AAA Trophies violated Section 1113A of the Code of Governmental Ethics by selling goods to the City of Kenner Recreation Department while Mr. Sullivan was an employee of the City of Kenner Recreation Department.
The Board is authorized to impose fines of up to $10,000 per violation upon finding that a violation of the Code has occurred. In this particular situation, given the facts outlined above, along with the fact that Johnnie Sullivan fully cooperated with the Board during the course of the investigation, it is the conclusion of the Board that the interest of the public would be served by the imposition of a $3,500 fine to be paid in monthly installments over the six month period immediately following the publication of this opinion.
IV.
DECREE AND ORDER
For the forgoing reasons:
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Board finds as a matter of fact and as a conclusion of law that Johnnie Sullivan violated Section 1113A of the Code of Governmental Ethics by selling goods through his sole proprietorship, AAA Trophies, to the City of Kenner Recreation Department while Mr. Sullivan was an employee of the City of Kenner Recreation Department.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that a fine of $3,500 be and is hereby imposed upon Johnnie Sullivan for the aforementioned violation of the Code to be paid in monthly installments over the six month period immediately following the publication of this opinion.
BY ORDER OF THE BOARD this 10th day of December , 1998.



s/ Robert L. Roland s/ Harry Blumenthal, Jr.
Robert L. Roland, Chairman Harry Blumenthal, Jr., Vice Chairman

Absent and did not participate. s/ Virgil Orr
Dr. Robert P. Bareikis Dr. Virgil Orr



Absent and did not participate. s/ T. O. Perry, Jr.
Judge E. L. Guidry, Jr. T. O. Perry, Jr.



s/ Revius O. Ortique, Jr. Absent and did not participate.
Justice Revius O. Ortique, Jr. Ronald L. Sawyer



s/ Nathan J. Thornton, Jr. s/ Edwin O. Ware
Nathan J. Thornton, Jr. Edwin O. Ware



s/ Carole Cotton Winn
Rev. Carole Cotton Winn


CONSENT
The undersigned (a) stipulates to the facts found by the Board; (b) waives the procedural requirements contained in Section 1141 of the Code; (c) admits that his conduct, as described above, violated Section 1113A of the Code; (d) consents to the publication of this opinion; (e) agrees to comply with the conditions and orders set forth in this opinion; and (f) agrees not to seek judicial review of the findings and actions taken in this opinion.
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