Ethics board to decide if state rep can lead parish department
A new state representative may receive a green light from the state ethics board to work full-time as head in Lafourche Parish Government while serving in the Legislature.
After winning his seat in the state House, Reggie Bagala reached out to the Louisiana Board of Ethics in October for a legal opinion regarding whether he could resume his full-time job with the Lafourche Parish Council or accept a department head position within Parish Government.
The letter doesn’t specify what department he may lead under the new administration.
Bagala will represent District 54 in the House, which includes much of south and central Lafourche from below Raceland to Port Fourchon. He is set to replace Jerry Gisclair, who couldn’t run again for the House seat due to term limits.
Bagala took a leave of absence without pay from his job as the council’s internal auditor to avoid conflict of interest while running for state office, he said in a letter to the board written the day after the election.
He had worked for the Council as an auditor since February of 2017.
The 11-member Board of Ethics is mainly responsible for issuing advisory opinions interpreting the code when requested, investigating alleged violations and offering ethics training for officials and public employees.
In its Dec. 20 meeting, the Board discussed Bagala’s request, the facts he presented and drafted a proposed advisory opinion suggesting that Louisiana’s Code of Governmental Ethics wouldn’t prohibit him from working in either position while in office.
“The Board recommends that you contact the Office of the Attorney General as to the application of any dual-office holding provisions,” stated the draft opinion. The document hasn’t been finalized and is subject to change pending further board discussion.
That draft will come before the board again in the next few weeks for further discussion and possible adoption.
-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Halle Parker can be reached at email@example.com or 857-2204. Follow her on Twitter, @_thehalparker.
Posted on Tue, January 7, 2020
by By Halle Parker Daily Comet Staff Writer