Former Jefferson Parish administrator Tim Whitmer agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for violating state conflict of interest and abuse of office laws.
It is the latest punishment meted out in a parish government scandal from Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard’s days in office.
The Louisiana Board of Ethics on Friday approved a “consent opinion” resolving charges brought against Whitmer and his private insurance agency for improper governmental business dealings and abuse of authority.
Whitmer’s company, Lagniappe Industries, did business with local governments and companies with Jefferson Parish contracts from which Whitmer profited.
Whitmer signed the agreement and the board action ends the case.
Whitmer quit as Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard’s chief administrative officer in early 2010 as a federal investigation into parish government activities played out. He was sentenced earlier this year to three years probation in a federal corruption case in which Broussard went to jail. He also was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and $160,430 in restitution to Jefferson Parish government.
The Ethics Board found that Whitmer violated five laws.
Three laws involved prohibited activities related to Lagniappe Industries. The other two dealt with his solicitation of $100 from each executive staff member as a gift for Broussard. The solicitation was considered an abuse of office.
The consent opinion states that Whitmer violated the law when he:
- Received commissions for services provided insurance carriers that had contractual relationships with Jefferson Parish government.
- Participated in transactions in which insurance carriers were selected to provide insurance coverage for the parish when the insurance carriers had existing contracts with Whitmer and Lagniappe.
- Entered into transactions that were under the jurisdiction of his agency by virtue of its subcontracts with the insurance providers that had contractual relationships with West Jefferson Hospital.
In other action Friday, the Ethics Board ended a case against Richard Hampton related to his being a member of the New Orleans Firefighter Pension Board then subsequently getting a contract job as its paid chief executive.
Hampton agreed to pay a $5,000 fine for violating ethics laws.
The Whitmer and Hampton settlements came as a result of behind-the-scenes discussions between the accused and ethics officials. Charges were never formally publicly issued.