Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre defended himself Friday against conflict of interest allegations involving a private business venture. The Louisiana Board of Ethics claims that he may have run afoul of ethics laws by channeling business to an ignition interlock device company in which he once had a controlling interest.
Webre denied the allegations as he testified in morning-long ethics adjudicatory panel hearing. The three-member panel took the case under advisement. Webre said his company — Smart Start Louisiana — did not provide the services to any resident of Lafourche Parish nor anyone arrested or convicted in the parish. The devices stop drunken people from being able to start vehicle.
The five-term sheriff said he followed an Ethics Board advisory opinion. As a result of that opinion, Webre said he spun-off a Lafourche-related ignition interlock device business to a separate company — Smart Start Lafourche — in which one of his partners had an interest but he didn’t. “There was going to be a Chinese firewall. The (ethics) opinion was to be adhered to in every respect,” Webre said.