Ethics board closes Kenneth Boudreaux investigation

Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux says he has been cleared by an ethics board investigation

Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux at a June 20, 2016, press conference talks about being cleared of alleged wrongdoing. (Photo: Claire Taylor/Daily Advertiser)

(The Daily Advertiser) – The Louisiana Board of Ethics is not taking action against Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux following an investigation into whether his salary with the district attorney’s office in Vermilion Parish was improperly paid from Lafayette Consolidated Government funds.

Boudreaux released the ethics board’s findings at a news conference Monday morning at city hall.

“After careful review, the investigation report did not reveal clear and convincing evidence that you accepted a salary from your agency to which you are not duly entitled, therefore the Board declined to take any enforcement action against you,” wrote Suzanne Mooney for the board of ethics, in a May 24 letter. “Further, the Board has instructed me to close the file.”

When he was elected to the council in November 2007 Boudreaux resigned from his job at the DA’s office while seeking an opinion from the Louisiana Attorney General over dual office-holding laws.

After receiving four AG opinions and two ethics board opinions, Boudreaux was re-employed in June 2008 as director of youth services with the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Vermilion Parish after the AG said he could hold both positions as long as his salary with the DA’s office was funded by the Vermilion Parish Police Jury, not Lafayette Consolidated Government.

The Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office, in March, released a report saying Boudreaux “may have” violated state law and the state constitution because, between 2008 and 2011, former DA Mike Harson reimbursed the Vermilion Parish Police Jury for Boudreaux’s salary. The council votes on the DA’s budget for the Lafayette office.

Boudreaux provided a transcript Monday of a May 17 council meeting in which Chief Financial Officer Lorrie Toups and Auditor Burton Kolder said to their knowledge the council had no knowledge of any reimbursements from Lafayette funds to Vermilion Parish. Harson used his office’s discretionary funds for the reimbursement, he said.

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