The eternally conflicted Kenneth Boudreaux strikes again

   
Kenneth Boudreaux invites Sheriff Mark Garber to be part of the family

Sheriff Mark Garber shows up as “family” during Kenneth Boudreaux’s swearing-in.

It certainly didn’t take long for Kenneth Boudreaux to again jump on the Citizens for a New Louisiana radar. On January 3, 2024, many onlookers were amazed as the family of Kenneth Boudreaux came to the stage during his public swearing-in. “Fam,” as Boudreaux likes to say, appears to also include Sheriff Mark Garber.

As soon as Boudreaux uttered the Oath of Office, swearing to “uphold the Constitution and law of this state,” he was simultaneously breaking that oath.

Dual Employment / Dual Officeholding

The Constitution for the State of Louisiana; Article 10,  Section 22, empowers the Louisiana Legislature to enact laws defining and regulating dual employment and dual office holding. Those laws can be found in Louisiana Revised Statute 42:61, et seq. The Legislature proclaims:

It is essential to the maintenance of a democratic society that public officials and employees perform the public business in a manner which serves to promote and maintain in the general citizenry a high level of confidence and trust in public officials, public employees, and governmental decisions.  The attainment of this end is impaired when a public official or employee holds two or more public offices or public jobs which by their particular nature conflict with the duties and interests of each other.  The attainment of a high level of confidence and trust by the general citizenry in public officials, employees, and governmental decisions is further impaired by the excessive accumulation of governmental power which may result from public officials or employees holding two or more public offices or public jobs.

In the introduction of Kenneth Boudreaux, it was made known that he is an employee of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff. No one was shocked by that. But when Sheriff Mark Garber appeared on stage following the invitation for the family to come up with Boudreaux, many were shocked. Perhaps “sugar daddy” is now included in the definition of family.

Another laugh courtesy of Boudreaux

You may remember it wasn’t that long ago that Boudreaux was illegally appointed to the Lafayette Municipal Police and Fire Civil Service Board by the Lafayette City Council. At that time, Boudreaux violated the dual office holding/employment provisions contained in Louisiana Civil Service law.

Louisiana Revised Statute 33:2536(B)(2)(c) provides:

No member of a board shall be a candidate for nomination or election to any public office or hold any other public office or position of public employment, except that of notary public, a military or naval official office, or that of a municipal, parish, or fire protection district fire or police department which is expressly required by the provisions of this Part.

Boudreaux resigned from that post just before “Comedy Hour” started. He was about to be questioned in conjunction with a Motion to Recuse. That motion was filed on behalf of Lafayette Police Department Officer Pablo Estrada. Then there was also that $2.3 million conflict of interest involving Boudreaux that we reported on back in 2019.

Boudreaux himself should be quite versed in dual office holding law by now. With all of his time in “public service” and all of his side hustles of public grifting it isn’t the first and likely not the last time the issue will present itself. Back in 2008, Boudreaux sought an opinion from the Louisiana Attorney General about potential conflicts between his elected position as Councilman and his simultaneous employment by the District Attorney for the 15th Judicial District. That office consists of the parishes of Lafayette, Vermilion, and Acadia.

The cards have been shuffled

The District Attorney’s Office for the 15th Judicial District receives funding from Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government. That’s the body that Boudreaux was elected to represent. However, Boudreaux claimed his employment was in the Vermilion Parish Office and would be funded completely by the Vermilion Parish Police Jury. The Attorney General at the time bought it. Thus, any concerns with the incapability of the two offices were found to be inapplicable.

Fast forward sixteen years and that deck of cards has been reshuffled. Now Boudreaux finds himself as an elected Councilman for the City of Lafayette of the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government and a Deputy Sheriff of Lafayette Parish under Mark Garber. Does it make a difference? ABSOLUTELY!

We cautioned people back in September of last year of a very small club of political figures who were also employees/deputies of Sheriff Mark Garber. Two of them, Kenneth Boudreaux and Rickey Hardy, were running for separate seats on the Lafayette City Council. Part of the concern was the influence they could exert over the budget process for the Lafayette City-Parish Government. Particularly, there is a problem of increased hand-outs from LCG to Sheriff Mark Garber, provided by his employees who are elected to the LCG council. While Hardy was defeated, Boudreaux was not. But that doesn’t mean he’s in the clear.

You Decide!

Louisiana Revised Statute 42:63(D) states:

No person holding an elective office in a political subdivision of this state shall at the same time hold another elective office or full-time appointive office in the government of this state or in the government of a political subdivision thereof.

An elective office means “any position which is established or authorized by the constitution or laws of this state or by the charter or ordinances of any political subdivision thereof, which is not a political party office, and which is filled by vote of the citizens of this state or of a political subdivision thereof. LARS 42:62 (i.e. City Councilman)

Full-time means “the period of time which a person normally works or is expected to work in an appointive office or employment and which is at least seven hours per day of work and at least thirty-five hours per week of work.” While Appointive office means “any office in any branch of government or other position on an agency, board, or commission or any executive office of any agency, board, commission, or department which is specifically established or specifically authorized by the constitution or laws of this state or by the charter or ordinances of any political subdivision thereof and which is filled by appointment or election by an elected or appointed public official or by a governmental body composed of such officials of this state or of a political subdivision thereof. LARS 42:62 (i.e. Full-time appointment by the Lafayette Parish Sheriff)

There’s more!

Some will argue that the Lafayette Sheriff is not a juridical entity and not a “political subdivision,” but an elected Constitutional officer. Yes, that may be true but for the purposes of dual employment/office holding a political subdivision is specifically defined as “a parish, municipality, and any other unit of local government, including a school board and a special district, authorized by law to perform governmental functions.  In addition for the purposes of this Part, mayor’s courts, justice of the peace courts, district attorneys, sheriffs, clerks of court, coroners, tax assessors, registrars of voters, and all other elected parochial officials shall be separate political subdivisions.

It doesn’t stop there. Louisiana Revised Statute 42:63(D) makes it even clearer when it states; “In addition no sheriff, assessor, or clerk of court shall hold any office or employment under a parish governing authority or school board, nor shall any member of any parish governing authority or school board hold any office or employment with any sheriff, assessor, or clerk of court.”

The parish governing authority of the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government is consolidated and operates under a Home Rule Charter. Section 1-02 – Form of Government of the Charter states:

The plan of government provided by this home rule charter shall be known as the “President-Council” form of government. It shall consist of an elected City Council which shall be called the Lafayette City Council and an elected Parish Council which shall be called the Lafayette Parish Council. The Lafayette City Council and Lafayette Parish Council, jointly, shall constitute the legislative branch of the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government.

Thus, it is pretty clear that Boudreaux can’t legally serve as an elected member of the parish governing authority and simultaneously hold employment with the Sheriff.

What comes next?

On January 4, 2024, a complaint was lodged with 15th Judicial District Attorney, Don Landry, and Louisiana State Attorney General, Liz Muriel in which we spelled out why Boudreaux is in violation of the law. In the event they don’t take action, any private citizen can petition the court through a civil action against the person holding incompatible office or employment. Or Boudreaux could just do what he should have rightfully done already. That is, with the knowledge that the two offices he now holds conflict, he could just resign from one of them.

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