April 22, 1997
Senator Donald G. Kelly
137 Denis Street
P.O. Box 756
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0756
RE: Ethics Board Docket No. 97-302
Dear Senator Kelly:
The Louisiana Board of Ethics, during the course of its April 17-18, 1997 meeting, considered your request for an advisory opinion regarding your serving as President-elect of the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association ("LTLA") and volunteering your services to appear before legislative committees given that you served in the Senate from 1976 through December 31, 1995.
The Board concluded, and instructed me to inform you, that because you will not be compensated for your representation of the LTLA before the legislature or legislative committees, no apparent violation of Section 1121 of the Code of Governmental Ethics would be presented. Section 1121 (La. R.S. 42:1121) prohibits a former legislator from being compensated to assist another person, such as LTLA, in a transaction involving the legislature for a period of two years from the termination of his public service.
Further, the Board also concluded that because you are neither employed nor compensated by LTLA and because you state you will not make expenditures of $200 or more in a calendar year, you would also not need to register as a lobbyist. The definition of "lobbyist" contained in the Lobbyist Disclosure Act (La. R.S. 24:51(5)) includes only those persons who are employed or compensated to lobby and who make expenditures of $200 or more in a calendar year.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Very truly yours,
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
Patricia H. Douglas
For the Board