“Life is like an onion, you peel it off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep.”
- Carl Sandburg
Saturday, ClickJefferson.com wrote about Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson’s promotion of a Gretna bar and threats to a critic on Lawson’sFacebook page.
I openly questioned whether a Police Chief, or any elected official, should promote a bar that they regulate (law enforcement routinely conducts underage drinking tests and some, like JP Sheriff Newell Normand, also conduct sales tax audits).
Now, there’s a new twist to the saga of The Rugby Pub in Gretna.
According to the business listings websites Manta.com, InBusiness.com and ChamberOfCommerce.com, Jefferson Parish 1st District Councilman Ricky Templet is the owner of The Rugby Pub. Manta lists “Front Row Inc” as the corporate entity.
A check of Councilman Templet’s 2012 financial disclosure form with the State (filed on 9/3/2013), shows that he is the owner or has an interest in 3 corporations:
- MRM Investment Properties, which he describes as being involved in “Rental Real Estate” and is a 1/3rd partner.
- R & C Templet Enterprises, a “Catering Company” that he co-owns with his wife.
- WestBank Coffee Company LLC, an “Orleans Beverage & Extract” company that he owns a 12.5% in.
The State Secretary of State’s corporation database shows that all of the corporations listed by Templet are “Not In Good Standing For Failure To File Annual Report”. The last report filed by R & C Templet Enterprises, Inc. was on 8/25/2011.
And, Chief Lawson and Councilman Templet are also business partners.
The WestBank Coffee Company LLC lists Chief Lawson as an Officer, along with West Bank State Senator David Heitmeier and others. It too is “Not In Good Standing For Failure To File An Annual Report”.
Councilman Templet’s 2012 financial disclosure does not list any income from the 3 corporations or any other income other than his JP Council salary, his wife’s income, and a small amount of income he received from the LA Legislature prior to his election to the JP Council.
According to Schedule F of Templet’s financial disclosure form, all three corporations are listed as “Business operated at a loss.”
The same corporations also operated at a loss for 2010 and 2011, although Councilman Templet also listed himself as “General Partner” for the corporation that owns the Westbank Beacon and that he “received 10% of net ordinary business income”. He does not list that 10% in his income filing, so perhaps the magazine lost money in 2011 as well.
There is no mention of The Rugby Pub in any of the Councilman’s financial disclosure forms. In his 2010 disclosure report, he does list a 12.5% partnership interest in “Tap & Go LLC” and lists their address as the same address of The Rugby Pub. “Tap & Go LLC” is another of Councilman Templet’s interests that “operate at a loss”.
According to the Secretary of State’s database, “Tap & Go LLC” has been inactive since 10/23/2009. Councilman Templet is not listed as an Officer in the corporation.
However, the April 11, 2012 Gretna City Council meeting agenda lists “The Rugby Pub” as owned by R & C Templet Enterprises, Inc. There is no listing of any action before the Gretna City Council in 2013 regarding any change of the Alcohol licensing for The Rugby Pub.
Councilman Templet also lists ownership of 6 rental houses valued between $25,000 – 100,000 each yet claims on his income disclosure form that he derives less than $5,000 in annual income from the properties.
While there is nothing illegal about owning and operating a bar or operating several businesses for a loss for several years, clearly the information contained in the filings raise several ethical questions.
Unfortunately, Councilman Templet failed to respond to a request to answer some of these questions.
NOTE: Several items were submitted by members of the Facebook page: Voters' Awareness League of Jefferson Parish. I appreciate their help and research.