Perhaps the highest-profile ethics case in Louisiana — one the former chairman of the state’s Ethics Board called "the most egregious case" he had ever seen — has sputtered to an anticlimactic ending that lets a former state senator off the hook without public explanation for a scandal that began a full decade ago. Former state Sen. Robert Marionneaux Jr., D-Maringouin, has come to an agreement with the Louisiana Ethics Board to resolve charges from 10 years ago that he failed to disclose that he was paid to represent a company in a lawsuit against Louisiana State University. State public servants are required to disclose when their financial interests overlap or conflict with the state's, yet Marionneaux was able to delay doing so for more than a decade without penalty. Former Gov. Bobby Jindal's "gold standard" ethics reforms in 2008 required new financial disclosures from public officials. But the other ways in which Jindal rejiggered the state's ethics system have led to a falloff in state ethics enforcement, particularly for legislators, The Advocate and ProPublica reported last year . Marionneaux is one of just six legislators whom the Ethics Board has charged since the 2008 changes, which Jindal promised would… Read full this story
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