Friday, August 26, 2011
Parish President Natalie Robottom hosted an hour of ethics training for top administrators, management staff, fire chiefs, and elected officials. This is the second such training in as many years, but this year’s attendees included employees in management level positions. Training for employees was mandatory; however, elected officials were invited to attend. Brent Durham and Michael David Dupree, attorneys representing the Louisiana Board of Ethics, discussed the role and responsibilities of the ethics board, revised statutes affecting public servants, family members and vendors, requests for advisory opinions, complaints, and penalties for violating the Code of Ethics. “I remain committed to restoring faith and trust in parish government and public servants. Our employees must be informed and knowledgeable about ethical guidelines that may affect their ability to make a living.”
Also in attendance at the training were Lucien Gauff, Councilman-at-Large and Tom Daley, District Attorney. With regard to the training, Councilman Gauff stated, “I thinks it’s necessary. It’s informative and it helps to raise and maintain awareness of ethical issues.” Gift giving, meals, post-employment restrictions and nepotism were also addressed. District Attorney Tom Daley expressed his thoughts on the regulations and the importance of their clarity for parish employees. “Deputy General Counsel for the Ethics Board, Michael David Dupree’s presentation helped clarify ethics rules applicable to all elected officials, public employees and their immediate family members”.
The feedback from employees was positive as many were unaware that the Code of Ethics applied to all public employees. “I thought the presenters were great. Although we were familiar with the material, there are always changes in the law, and it doesn’t hurt to get an update,” stated District Fire Chief Spencer Chauvin. Purchasing and Procurement Director, Brenda Labat commented, “It was very informative, and I plan to share the video presentation with all employees in the Purchasing Department.” Although the requirement for all public servants to obtain one hour of ethics training annually does not go into effect until 2012, Robottom implemented annual ethics training sessions in her first few months in office.