Monday, September 13, 2010
The Times-Picayune reports that the Louisiana Board of Ethics has revisited its position on the circumstances in which a state public commissioner may participate in decisions concerning companies regulated by the commission when those companies donate to charities with a governing board of which a commissioner is a member. Initially, the Board of Ethics appeared to take the position that a commissioner could not vote on commission matters involving a company that made a donation to a nonprofit organization with which the commissioner was involved. The position, articulated in an advisory opinion requested by Commissioner Eric Skrmetta, was later clarified. Under the clarification, a commissioner is not prohibited "from serving on the board of a nonprofit organization that receives donations from a company regulated by the Louisiana Public Service Commission." Secondly, a commissioner is prohibited from participating in matters before the commission in which the nonprofit organization has a substantial economic interest.