[Editor's Note: This story was updated at 5:27 p.m. Thursday to reflect our conversation with Glenn Dugas.]
Members of the all-volunteer Lafayette Workforce Investment Board must disclose their personal finances beginning in May of next year, according to an advisory opinion issued by the Louisiana Ethics Board on Wednesday.
In a letter to Glenn Dugas, executive administrator of the LWIB, Ethics Board member Tracy Barker explains that because Lafayette Parish’s population has exceeded 200,000, LWIB board members are subject to the financial disclosure rule enacted as part of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s sweeping ethics reform package a few years ago. That requirement led to a wave of resignations from boards and commissions statewide, many by volunteer appointees who didn’t want their personal finances subject to public scrutiny.
Dugas tells The Ind that the personal disclosure requirement “isn’t very onerous,” and that board members are not required to disclose personal income. They are only required to divulge ownership of private companies and income earned in industries like gaming. Dugas adds that none of the 31 members of the LWIB has expressed an intention to resign from the board due to the new disclosure requirement.
The LWIB, according to LCG’s website, “serves Lafayette Parish and receives federal money that is used to provide a variety of services to businesses and job seekers through the Lafayette Business and Career Solutions Center.”
Lafayette Parish’s growth beyond the 200,000 population threshold is likely to affect most of the boards and commissions in the parish. State ethics law requires members of boards that “disburse, invest, or expend $10,000 or more in funds in a fiscal year to file an annual personal financial disclosure statement.” There are nearly 30 such bodies operating in Lafayette Parish.