Ethics board sets Sirmon hearing

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 29, 1998

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / July 29, 1998

HAHNVILLE – St. Charles Parish Councilman Bill Sirmon is still on the hotseat from the Louisiana State Ethics Board, with a hearing set in September.

Sirmon, a salesman for Quality Janitorial Service of Luling and Gramercy, has served on the Parish Council since January 1996. However, the parishcontracted with Quality for janitorial services for the Waterworks Department in February 1997.

Jennifer Magness of the State Ethics Board asserted that Sirmon, as a public official, could not work for a company with a parish contract, regardless if the contract comes under council review.

A motion for a summary judgment in the pending matter was not approved Monday, and a hearing is set in Baton Rouge on Sept. 17.Sirmon’s attorney, Robert Raymond of Destrehan, filed a motion for summary judgment after an earlier motion in June deadlocked in a 4-4 vote.

“I think it’s a political deal,” Sirmon commented, saying political rivals complained about the matter. Sirmon claimed he does not know the sourceof the complaint, and the ethics board did not reveal the source.

Stanford Caillouet, a long-time Parish Council gadfly, claims credit for the complaint, and said, “I just had enough. It’s gone on for too long.”The contract with Quality Janitorial Service was handled administratively through the parish’s purchasing office, headed by Terry Loupe, and never came before the Parish Council.

Sirmon added an affidavit was filed by Loupe for the ethics board which asserted Loupe was unaware of Sirmon’s employment by the firm.

Loupe added that Quality also performs janitorial services for the sheriff’s office, at least since 1993, the 9-1-1 Center since 1995 and, since May, the east bank office for Public Works at 14530 River Road, New Sarpy.

However, the question remaining to be settled is whether Sirmon should hold both positions with those contracts in effect.

“It’s just a technicality,” Sirmon asserted.

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