Ethics Opinion

A practicing licensed realtor could serve as Concordia Parish clerk of court but could not be paid by a buyer or seller to assist them in matters involving the clerk of court’s office.

That is the bottom line of an ethics opinion recently released by the Louisiana Board of Ethics, according to the Kathleen Allen, administrator of the board.

The ethics board recently responded, according to the board’s records, to “a request for an advisory opinion from Pascha Cater Brown, a candidate for Clerk of Court of Concordia Parish (pop. 20,822) relative to whether she could provide services as a licensed realtor if she should win election as Clerk of Court.”

The facts were described as follows:

“Pascha Cater Brown is contemplating running for the Clerk of Court of Concordia Parish. Ms. Brown currently is a licensed realtor in both Louisiana and Mississippi. Ms. Brown would like to continue working as a realtor in the event that she would win the election as the Concordia Parish Clerk of Court.

“Ms. Brown indicated that she would perform no services as a realtor during her working hours as the Clerk of Court. Ms. Brown further provided that any services she would provide as a realtor would be concluded prior to any documents from such real estate transaction being filed with the Clerk of Court's Office.

“Finally, Ms. Brown affirmed that she would provide no services as a realtor on behalf of any employee of the Clerk of Court's Office, any immediate family member of any employee of the Clerk of Court's Office, or any person with an existing contract, subcontract or other transaction with the Clerk of Court's Office.”

According to ethics board attorney Greg Thibodeaux, “La. R.S. 42:1111E(1) prohibits a public servant, or legal entity of which such public servant is an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee, or in which such public servant has a substantial economic interest, from receiving or agreeing to receive any thing of economic value for assisting a person in a transaction, or in an appearance in connection with a transaction, with the agency of such public servant.”

Two candidates have already announced their candidacy for Clerk of Court – Phillip Webber and Andy Anders.

Both are seeking the post being vacating by longtime clerk Clyde Ray Webber

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