Police chief loses ethics fine appeal
ST. GABRIEL - The First Circuit Court of Appeals denied an appeal from St. Gabriel Police Chief Kevin Ambeau recently, ordering he pay a $2,500 ethics fine to the state.
The board ruled Ambeau failed to appeal the 2011 fine for filing his required candidate financial statement late, and a trial court ruled correctly when it enforced the fine in 2013.
The state Board of Ethics fined Ambeau in 2011 for failing to file a 2010 Tier 2 candidate personal finance form after he qualified for re-election. After warning Ambeau a month after he qualified, the board said they did not receive his financial statement until September 2011 and so fined him a few months later. The board said Ambeau still did not pay his fine or appeal it, which is why they took the matter to court. In December 2013 a trial court ruled Ambeau was required to pay the fine, with interest.
Ambeau appealed the decision, claiming he should have not been required to file the form the board requested. He claimed he should only have needed to file an annual personal financial closure statement no later than May 15, 2011.
The First Circuit said Ambeau's arguments did not have merit because they should have been taken up during the Board of Ethics' appeal period. The court also noted that Ambeau didn't file any personal finance forms from 2010 until 2013, even the one Ambeau claimed he thought he was supposed to file.
In October 2014 News 2's Investigative Unit reported Ambeau owed a total of $6,000 in fines to the state Board of Ethics. He paid the last $2,500 of those fines off in February. If he hadn't, he would not have been able to run for re-election in March. The fine from 2011 did not affect his standing because it was on appeal at the time.
Ambeau is currently unopposed in the March 28 election for St. Gabriel Chief of Police.
You can click here to view a database of politicians with outstanding ethics fines.
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