Livingston Parish School employees caught allegedly installing signs related to proposed tax
LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Employees of the Livingston Parish School System were caught this past weekend allegedly putting out signs related to the upcoming tax election.
Officials say the 1-Cent sales tax on the ballot will give teachers and employees a 10 percent pay raise.
But have school officials crossed the line and gone too far in ‘promoting’ the new proposed tax?
A concerned citizen took multiple videos over the weekend showing school system employees installing the pro-tax signs in department-issued vehicles.
“Using the company vehicle so to speak, using the work vehicle, okay, the optics just aren’t good,” said Franz Borghardt, a legal expert.
WAFB’s Lester Duhe’ reached out to Livingston Parish Superintendent of Schools, Joe Murphy for an interview on this, but he was not available. Instead, he issued a statement, not exactly denying what was shown on the video, but said:
“Well, those issues and things are, hey we want to tax you, hey we want to get some money from you. Again, great spin on what happened, it does not conform to the ethics rules,” said Borghardt.
Borghardt believes the situation is fishy and raises questions.
“And if they’re (employees) putting up a vote for this tax, well then that’s a problem. If it’s a, hey this tax will do X, Y, and Z, or the parish needs money for this, that and the other, it’s less bad. But still not good,” said Borghardt.
But the question now is if someone would actually make an ethics complaint with early voting already underway.
“It just optically looks like, either one, stupidity, or two, not caring, and feeling like you can do whatever you want. But this is Livingston Parish, so I guess in a way I’m saying, Livingston’s going to be Livingston,” said Borghardt.
WAFB did reach out to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office, who referred us to both the District Attorney’s Office and the Louisiana Board of Ethics.
A spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office says they have gotten no complaints.
And officials with the Ethics Board have not responded yet to our request for comment.
Early Voting is already underway and Election Day is March 25.
To learn more about the proposed tax click here.
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