April 25, 2011
Ms. Lawanda Selders
3413 E. Forest Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70814
RE: Ethics Board Docket No. 2011-400
Dear Ms. Selders:
The Louisiana Board of Ethics, at its April 15, 2011 meeting, considered your request for an advisory opinion regarding whether you may serve as a board member for the LouisianaVegetation Management Association (LVMA) while you are employed as a Roadside Development Coordinator for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD). You stated that as Coordinator, you are responsible for managing the Maintenance Mowing contracts awarded to District 61. You prepare the bid proposals, conduct pre-bid meetings, open sealed letter bid proposals and manage the work performed under the maintenance contracts awarded. The LVMA is devoted to improving the standards of the pesticide application profession by bringing together members of the weed control and horticultural trade industries. Their primary objective is to promote good will, safe and ethical practices among its members, and to promote an exchange of ideas among all members of the association. The organization, when called upon, advises and cooperates with legislative and regulatory bodies in support of legislation and regulations relating to pesticides needed to improve and protect environmental quality.
The Board concluded, and instructed me to advise you that the Code of Governmental Ethics will not prohibit your appointment to the LVMA Board. Section 1113 of the Code prohibits a public servant from entering into a transaction that is under the supervision of the agency of the public servant. Section 1112 of the Code prohibits a public servant from participating in a transaction in which a person which he serves as an officer has a substantial economic interest. Since the LVMA is not under the supervision of the LADOTD, there is no violation of the Code if you are appointed to serve as a board member for the LVMA. Additionally, you should recuse yourself regarding any matters concerning the LVMA that come before you as a coordinator for LADOTD.
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