Christmas Cookies Deemed “Unethical”

This is actually one of the last areas I would have expected to see this kind of story, the Deep South, but, here we go

After asking the state Board of Ethics last month whether library staff can accept inexpensive and homemade Christmas gifts from grateful patrons, St. Tammany Parish library officials last week received the board’s response: Bah, humbug.

Even small gifts, such as “cakes, pies, houseplants, etc., from patrons of the library for their performance of the library employees’ duties” are off-limits, according to an advisory opinion issued by the ethics board.

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Any employee of a Louisiana public library who receives such a gift from a library patron needs to “return the cookies to the person and say that, ‘I cannot accept these cookies under the ethics law,’ ” said Aneatra Boykin, staff attorney for the ethics board.

Library officials and patrons on the north shore are incensed.

The employees often receive these little gifts from patrons for helping them out with research and because it is the holiday season. As far as ethics goes

“What is to be gained by a library employee with a plate of cookies?” Butler asked. “I mean, it’s not like I’m going to turn the keys to the library over to you.”

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