Sometimes the answer is so obvious it would seem absurd to even ask.
But ask he did.
Sen. Conrad Appel (R-Metairie), he of the $345 per month Pentagon Barracks apartment (Nov. 29 post), has been thwarted by the Louisiana Ethics Board in his effort to bid on contract work with the Louisiana Recovery School District.
Appel requested a determination as to whether his company may bid on work with the Recovery School District.
The Recovery School District was established by R.S. 17:1990 “to provide an appropriate education for children attending any public elementary or secondary school.” The district is funded with state and federal funds and is administered by the Louisiana Department of Education, subject to approval of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).
The Louisiana Legislature, of which Appel is a member, passed R.S. 17:1990 and also appropriates funding for the Department of Education, BESE, and the Recovery School District.
In A Dec. 20 opinion, ethics board attorney Tracy Barker informed Appel that “the Code of Governmental Ethics would prohibit your company, if you own an interest greater than five percent, from bidding on or entering into a contract with the Louisiana Recovery School District.”
Barker added that state statute “prohibits a legislator and any person who has been certified by the secretary of state as elected to the legislature or the spouse of such person (or) any legal entity of (such) person from entering into any contract with state government.” (Emphasis ours.)
State government, Barker said, is defined as any branch, agency, department, or institution of state government. “The Louisiana Recovery School District was created by the legislature under the administration of the Department of Education, subject to the approval of BESE,” she said. “As such, the Louisiana Recovery School District is an agency of the Department of Education.”