The Louisiana Board of Ethics, meeting last week in Baton Rouge, went behind closed doors to discuss court action in their cases against two local officials.


The Louisiana Board of Ethics, meeting last week in Baton Rouge, went behind closed doors to discuss court action in their cases against two local officials.

An 19th Judicial District judge in Baton Rouge has ruled St. Gabriel Police Chief Kevin Ambeau is entitled to the information in the ethics board's file in his case, but the board is asking for a new trial on the issue, Ethics Administrator Kathleen Allen said. The board maintains complaints filed against public officials and their investigations are confidential.

The board charged in February 2010 that Ambeau violated a section of the Louisiana Code of Government Ethics by operating a private security business in St. Gabriel at the same time he serves as police chief.

Ambeau, represented by Iberville Chief Administrative Officer Edward A. “Lucky” Songy Jr., maintains the law applies to sheriffs, not to police chiefs. When he announced his candidacy for sheriff this spring, Ambeau said he would discontinue the business if he were elected to the parishwide office this fall.

Allen said it is an open question whether Ambeau's case would be settled before the election.

State Sen. Rob Marionneaux, who represents Iberville Parish, has succeeded in having one ethics case against him transferred from Baton Rouge to the 18th Judicial District, comprising Iberville, West Baton Rouge and Pointe Coupee parishes, Allen said. A decision on transferring a second case is pending.

Marionneaux, an attorney, is contesting the ethics board's charges that he represented private companies in cases involving state agencies without filing a statement disclosing the activity.

Allen said the cases probably would not go to court until October.