The Louisiana Board of Ethics has charged the Lafayette school board’s former insurance consultant with violating ethics laws by offering a school board member tickets to a New Orleans Saints game while “seeking a contractual and business relationship” with the school board.
On Jan. 15, the Ethics Board filed a charge alleging that Rina Tikia for giving then-board member Mark Cockerham two tickets — with a face value of $300 each — to the Nov. 17, 2013, New Orleans Saints game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Tikia is the sole owner of Tikia Consulting Group Inc. In June 2013, the “Lafayette Parish School Board voted to select Tikia Consulting Group Inc. for a contract award for consulting services for management of self-funded group health plan,” the Ethics Board’s charging order states.
The school board proposed but did not execute a consulting agreement between the Tikia Consulting Group in September 2013. The contract proposal stated that Tikia would be paid $200,000 for providing independent advising and consulting services to assist the school board in developing an employee health insurance plan.
According to the Ethics Board order, Tikia did provide some services but was never compensated by the school board. Tikia was terminated as an insurance consultant on Dec. 31, 2013.
The Ethics Board decision was released on Jan. 27; the docket number is 2014-188.
The state ethics adjudicatory board has been requested to hear the case and determine any penalties, if needed.
The Associated Press reported that Cockerham admitted publicly to receiving the tickets and said he attempted to return them.
Former board member Shelton Cobb also had said he was offered tickets but refused them. according to the AP.
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