What is the Ethics Adjudicatory Board?

Act 23 of the 1st Extraordinary Session of 2008 statutorily created the Ethics Adjudicatory Board within the Division of Administrative Law.  LSA- R.S. 42:1141. The Louisiana Board of Ethics may conduct an investigation, determine that a public hearing should be conducted, and issue charges . A public hearing is then conducted by the Ethics Adjudicatory Board in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act to receive evidence relative to the facts alleged in the charges and to determine whether any violation of any provision of law within the jurisdiction of the board has occurred.

How the Panel is Selected

The adjudicatory board members are selected annually to serve a three-years term from January first through December thirty-first. There is no limitation on the number of times a qualified member may be selected to serve.

The director of the division of administrative law shall, at a public meeting of the Board of Ethics in December of the year preceding the year in which the terms are to begin, randomly select seven administrative law judges from among those who meet the qualifications to comprise the Ethics Adjudicatory Board. The last selected judge shall serve as the alternate. Members of the adjudicatory board shall have not less than two years of experience as an administrative law judge or not less than ten years experience in the practice of law.


Qualifications of the EAB Members


Members of the adjudicatory board must have not less than two years of experience as an administrative law judge or not less than ten years experience in the practice of law.


Financial Disclosure

The EAB members are subject to the same financial disclosure requirements limitations regarding contracting as are applicable to the members of the Board of Ethics. R.S. 42:1141.2(C)


How the EAB Operates

The Ethics Adjudicatory Board sits in rotating panels composed of three administrative law judges. Once a hearing is docketed at the Division of Administrative Law, it is alternately assigned to either Panel A or Panel B. The panel shall select the administrative law judge who will preside over the hearing.

At the hearing, an ethics adjudicatory panel determines whether a violation of any provision of law within the jurisdiction of the Board of Ethics has occurred. If the ethics adjudicatory panel determines that a violation has occurred, it determines what authorized penalties or other sanctions, if any, should be imposed.

The determination of the majority of the panel in a particular case shall be the determination of the Ethics Adjudicatory Board. After the hearing, the presiding administrative law judge assigns authorship responsibility for the determination.

If the public hearing of the ethics adjudicatory panel fails to disclose clear and convincing evidence to support the charges, the ethics adjudicatory panel shall make an official determination of its findings, and thereupon the Board of Ethics shall close its file on the charges. The person charged and the complainant shall be notified in writing within ten days of the ethics adjudicatory panel's rendition of a final decision. The person charged may require the ethics adjudicatory panel to make an official determination of the validity of the charges against him.

If an EAB Panel member begins conducts a hearing prior to the end of his term, he shall not be prohibited from completing work on the matter following the end of his term. He shall be considered a member of the Ethics Adjudicatory Board until such work is complete, and such status shall not affect the selection of members for the Ethics Adjudicatory Board.

Any member of the Ethics Adjudicatory Board who has a personal interest in or who becomes the subject of a hearing pursuant to this Part shall recuse himself from participation in such hearing.

The EAB may conduct any hearing in the parish where the public servant or person alleged to have violated any provision of law within the jurisdiction of the board resides, or in the parish of the official domicile of any office or employment held by the defendant, or in East Baton Rouge Parish.


Procedural Rules: Chapter 8. Ethics Adjudicatory Board

§801. Selection of Board Members and Panels

A.
Public Meeting
The selection of the Ethics Adjudicatory Board will take place during a public meeting of the Louisiana Board of Ethics

B.
Random Selection Process

1.
The director of the Division of Administrative Law, or his designee, shall place into a container, the names of all probationary and permanent Division of Administrative Law administrative law judges who meet the statutory qualifications. They must have:
a.
Not less than two years experience as an administrative law judge; or
b.
Not less than 10 years experience in the practice of law.
2.
The director or his designee shall blindly select seven names from the container, one at a time. Each name shall be recorded and assigned a number, according to the order of its selection.

C.
Term of Board. These seven administrative law judges shall constitute the Ethics Adjudicatory Board. The Ethics Adjudicatory Board members shall be selected in December of the year preceding the year on which the terms are to begin on January 1.

D.
Three Judge Panels. The judges shall sit in three judge panels. The first three names selected shall be a three judge panel designated "A." The next three names selected shall be a three judge panel, "B." When a new case is docketed, it will be allotted alternately between the two panels. A case docketed and assigned to panel A or B shall remain with that designated panel letter until final decision.

E.
Alternate Judge. The seventh name selected shall be an alternate administrative law judge to be substituted for administrative law judges who are unavailable due to recusal, end of employment with the Division of Administrative Law, or for other good cause.
F.
A vacancy on the Ethics Adjudicatory Board shall be filled for the unexpired term at the next public meeting of the Board of Ethics and in the same manner as for the original selection. The last selected judge shall serve as the alternate.

Authority Note:
Promulgated in accordance with R.S. 49:991 et seq., and R.S. 42:1141.2.

Historical Note:
Promulgated by the Department of Civil Service, Division of Administrative Law, LR 34:1346 (July 2008), amended LR 38:2949 (November 2012).

§803. Recusal of an Ethics Adjudicatory Board Member

A.
An Ethics Adjudicatory Board member shall voluntarily recuse himself and withdraw from any adjudication in which he cannot accord a fair and impartial hearing or consideration, when required by applicable rules governing the practice of law in Louisiana or for other good cause such as conflict of interest. Applicable recusal provisions include R.S. 49:960, R.S. 49:999, or other conflict of interest provisions.

B.
When an Ethics Adjudicatory Board member is recused from a panel or a case to be adjudicated, the alternate administrative law judge shall be assigned to the panel or case.

C.
In the event the alternate judge is unavailable, the administrative hearings clerk shall randomly select a name from the remaining Ethics Adjudicatory Board members by placing their names in a container and blindly selecting one. The selected individual shall be substituted on the panel or the case.

Authority Note:
Promulgated in accordance with R.S. 49:991 et seq.

Historical Note:
Promulgated by Department of Civil Service, Division of Administrative Law, LR 34:1346 (July 2008).

§805. Location of Hearings

A.
The panel shall select the administrative law judge who will preside over the hearing.

B.
The determination of the majority of the panel in a particular case shall be the determination of the Ethics Adjudicatory Board.

C.
After the hearing, the presiding judge shall assign authorship responsibility for the determination.

Authority Note:
Promulgated in accordance with R.S. 49:991 et seq.

Historical Note:
Promulgated by the Department of Civil Service, Division of Administrative Law, LR 34:1346 (July 2008), amended LR 38:2949 (November 2012).


§807. Location of Hearings

A.
When a decision of the Ethics Adjudicatory Board is appealed to the Court of Appeals, copies of the motion for appeal shall be served upon the Division of Administrative Law and all parties of record.

B.
The Division of Administrative Law shall prepare the record on appeal after payment of costs pursuant to 305 of these rules.

C.
Any motion for an appeal shall comply with the local rules of that court and Uniform Rules of Louisiana Courts of Appeal.

Authority Note:
Promulgated in accordance with R.S. 49:991 et seq.

Historical Note:
Promulgated by the Department of Civil Service, Division of Administrative Law, LR 34:1346 (July 2008), amended LR 38:2949 (November 2012).