Which state has the lowest ethics in the nation? Without question, it is Louisiana. This is the state where the “ethics board” ruled that members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education could vote on contracts for campaign contributors, because they did not work for them as employees.

This is the same “ethics board” that saw no conflict when Kira Orange Jones, the director of Teach for America in Néw Orleans, was elected to the state board, which proceeded to award a $1 million contract to her employer.

Now Orange Jones has statewide responsibility for TFA. No doubt the “ethics board” will find no conflict between her employment and her role on the state board.

The state could save money by abolishing this useless agency.

A blogger in Louisiana described the situation as follows:

“One of the defenses for Kira Orange Jones’ elected position on BESE not being a conflict of interest was that her position with Teach for America was only as executive director “of the New Orleans area” – she didn’t hold statewide responsibilities. BESE members vote on and oversee contracts with TFA state wide, over $1 million dollars’ worth.

“Her own attorney convinced the state Ethics Board that her position was not a conflict of interest, because it “wasn’t statewide.” They over-ruled their own staff attorneys’ advice.
Now, Jones is “taking on new responsibilities “coordinating statewide operations” with TFA.

“According to Jones, now it’s not a conflict since she doesn’t sit on the “national” TFA board or is part of TFA’s “national” leadership team.

“When will this ridiculous word play end, and actual ethics rulings –based on their own staff attorneys — be enforced?

“Recently her attorney resigned as vice chairman of the Ethics Board because he himself had a conflict of interest in not revealing that he is aligned with Tulane, which is aligned with TFA. Apparently Orange-Jones’ very questionable position will continue to be protected and likely unchallenged.”