Lawsuit filed against state ethics board

Local businessman says the board damaged his reputation

Thursday, January 27, 2011 - 6:13pm

BATON ROUGE, La (FOX44) -- A local businessman is fighting back, after he says he was wrongfully prosecuted by the Louisiana Board of Ethics. The board investigated him for sending out a scandalous flyer about Mayor Kip Holden, but he says he didn't do anything wrong.

Scott Wilfong makes his living printing and mailing out flyers for paying customers. His attorney, Christopher Alexander, says Wilfong was just doing his job when a client asked him to distribute a flyer making some racy remarks about the mayor. That flyer was mailed out to more than 18,000 people in Baton Rouge.

"All he did was earn a living within the constraints of the law," says Alexander. "He's in the advertising business. It's what he does every day of his life."

Alexander says the Louisiana Board of Ethics decided to publically investigate Wilfong becuase he didn't file a finance report with the state. According to Alexander, he didn't have to. "He had no ethical or statutory requirement to report anything and there was no evidence otherwise."

Two years later, that investigation was dismissed, but Wilfong still feels the effects. He says the investigation damaged his reputation and hurt his business. Now, he is suing the ethics board for money and a change to the system.

"There has to be a screening process whereby they have to dispose potential ethics cases early on before they are allowed to damage and destroy the reputation of a decent human being," says Alexander.

The Louisiana Board of Ethics declined comment on the lawsuit. They want to be more informed on the issue before they speak about it publically.

The lawsuit was filed in the 19th judicial court Thursday. You can take a look at the full lawsuit filed below.

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