If it seems like almost every day there is a new ethical issue with JP Sheriff Candidate Johnny Fortunato, you would be correct.
As if handing out free food on Public School property; being the “Keynote Speaker” at a Senior Party paid for with tax dollars courtesy of JP District 3 Councilman Mark Spears; hiring Greg Buisson, a man who routinely advises his clients to skirt State Ethics rules; Fortunato’s support for Jefferson Parish’s Sexual Predator-in-Chief Mike Yenni, or having a wife who is a political appointee of Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn – despite not living in Kenner weren't enough, now comes the revelation that Fortunato has funneled over $56,000 from his campaign account to a Texas-based business owned by Fortunato’s son.
And, while none of these things is technically illegal, ALL raise questions about the judgement and ethics of candidate, particularly a candidate that wants to become Jefferson Parish’s Top Lawman.
Normally, I never post about a candidate’s family. However, when that candidate brings his family into the campaign, all bets are off.
According to the Louisiana Ethics Administration reports, through 2/24 Fortunato has spent over $56,000 with Wrap Stars, a Texas company owned by his son, Johnny Fortunato Jr.
The $56,000 represents about 35% of the total amount of campaign contributions that the Fortunato Campaign has received.
Allegedly, the $56,000 was for “Signs” and “Magnets”.
Or, it could be a Father trying to help his Son.
Johnny Fortunato Jr. is a former JPSO Deputy and was terminated by the JPSO. After running afoul of the law here, Fortunato Jr. moved to Texas and started his business.
Again, I don’t like writing about candidate’s families but, since Fortunato is running for JP Sheriff and his son was terminated from the JPSO, I think that is a valid point to make.
The point is, there are dozens of local companies that could have provided the Fortunato campaign with “Signs” and “Magnets” but instead of using one of them, Fortunato CHOSE to use his son’s out-of-state company.
Since the JP Sheriff is also responsible for the collection of taxes in the Parish, why wouldn't Fortunato BUY LOCAL and contribute to the local economy and our tax base?
Just as Fortunato CHOSE to announce on WDSU that Mike Yenni shouldn’t have resigned after Yenni’s sexting scandal was revealed and that Fortunato, as Sheriff of Jefferson Parish, would support Yenni’s re-election bid in 2019, Fortunato CHOSE to funnel money to his son's Texas company instead of BUYING LOCAL.
As I’ve said, spending money with your son’s business and using campaign dollars (other people’s money) isn’t illegal.
But it sure raises a lot of unnecessary questions.