Kenner can keep its contract with an insurance agency owned by recently seated City Councilman Dominick Impastato’s father as long as it makes no changes to the contract and Impastato recuses himself from any related business, the state Ethics Board has ruled.
The ruling was issued last month but just recently came to light, although the employee health insurance contract his father Nick Impastato’s Acacia Financial Group has had with the parish since 2010 came up during the recent election.
The ruling was requested this summer and was sent to Kenner City Attorney Luis Gruntz.
It says the law prohibits only new contracts between public servants and family members.
“Therefore, Acacia may maintain its appointment as agent of record for the city of Kenner while Dominick Impastato serves as a council member … as long as the appointment is not renewed or the terms changed,” the Ethics Board said.
It also said Impastato must recuse himself from all matters regarding the selection of health insurance providers or contract approvals while Acacia is the city’s agent of record, and that state ethics disclosure forms to be filed by May need to note the relationship and the value of the contract.
The letter said Acacia is paid a 1 percent commission by the provider.
Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni’s administration, which selected Acacia in 2010, says the move has saved the city $200,000 per year.
Impastato said he expected the ruling and supports transparency in government. He said the Alliance for Good Government was aware of the relationship when it endorsed him in the May election.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.