COURT RULES LAWSUIT AGAINST LOUISIANA STATE BOND COMMISSION CAN PROCEED, ALSO INDICATES THE COMMISSION ACTED UNLAWFULLY WHEN IT EXCLUDED UNDERWRITING BIDS FROM LARGEST BANKS
Court Soundly Rejects State’s Effort to Dismiss Lawsuit, Commenting that the Commission’s Actions Were “Obviously Unlawful”
BATON ROUGE – A Louisiana state court Judge ruled yesterday that a lawsuit against the Louisiana Bond Commission alleging that it acted unlawfully when it asked potential roadway improvement bond underwriters about their unrelated corporate policies related to firearms, which resulted in the Commission’s exclusion of underwriting bids from Bank of America and Citibank N.A, can go forward.
“As the court recognized, the bond commission’s actions weren’t just misguided. They were obviously unlawful,” said David LaCerte, an attorney with Sternberg, Naccari & White, LLC, which is representing the plaintiffs. “Everyone is entitled to their own political views, but scoring political points shouldn’t needlessly cost our state money. Our client is ensuring there is accountability when public officials don’t live up their obligations to taxpayers.”
The ruling by Judge Trudy White was a significant victory in the plaintiff’s taxpayer standing suit against the Bond Commission. The plaintiff is seeking an injunction barring the Bond Commission from excluding potential financial underwriters for reasons unrelated to their experience and qualifications, as well as a courtroom declaration that the Bond Commission acted unlawfully. The plaintiff alleges the Bond Commission exceeded its legal authority and improperly excluded Bank of America and Citi for political reasons, notwithstanding warnings that excluding these banks would have negative financial implications for the State and its taxpayers. The lawsuit also contends that the Bank of America and Citi policies did not infringe on the rights of Louisiana’s citizens to acquire and keep and bear firearms.