Green Light for Personal $$$

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By: Allen Johnson


Former prosecutor Karen Herman — and her husband — received a “green light” from the Louisiana Board of Ethics in regard to her campaign for judge of New Orleans Criminal District Court. In response to a request from Stephen J. Herman, the Ethics Board last week ruled that a candidate’s personal funds are not subject to state contribution limits. “Further, a candidate’s community property is the candidate’s personal funds and is therefore not subject to the contribution limits,” board attorney Alesia Ardoin wrote in an April 15 letter. Stephen Herman, a lawyer with Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar LLP, also asked the board if there are any fundraising restrictions for the spouses of judicial candidates. Judges and candidates for judge cannot personally solicit campaign contributions. The board replied that neither the state Code of Ethics nor the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act addresses the propriety of spousal solicitation of campaign funds. The board declined to opine on the Code of Judicial Conduct. Karen Herman, founder of Court Watch NOLA, a citizens’ court-monitoring program, is running for the Section “I” seat being vacated by retiring Judge Raymond Bigelow. The primary is Oct. 4.

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