The Louisiana House gave final legislative passage to two bills filed to fix flaws in a new system of ethics law enforcement pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
House Bill 942 would give the Louisiana Board of Ethics that prosecutes cases a limited right of appeal when it disagrees with interpretations of law used by the Ethics Adjudicatory Board, called EAB, to dismiss charges.
The legislation would require the Ethics Board to pay attorney fees and court costs if it loses court appeals retroactive to the accused’s defense before the EAB.
House Bill 950 would give the Ethics Board more than a year to bring charges if the person being investigated impedes the probe.
The Senate version eliminated as a grounds for stopping the charge clock the provision of “false, fraudulent or misleading information” related to the investigation. Under the bill, the clock could be stopped for failure to comply with a subpoena or if the individual being investigated files a state or federal court appeal.
Another Senate change would allow those accused of improper conduct to use advisory opinions they sought from the Ethics Board when the issue of intent to violate the law is involved.
The bills sponsored by state Rep. Tim Burns, R-Mandeville, now go to the governor’s desk for signing into law.