The Ethics Review Board seeks to uphold and enforce high ethical standards and promote the public’s confidence in the government of the City of New Orleans.

Functions and Authority
The Ethics Review Board is authorized by the Code of Ordinances for City of New Orleans to administer and enforce the provisions of the Code of Ethics of the City. The Code of Ethics was established to remind each public official and employee that individually and collectively, public officials and employees must adhere to high ethical standards not simply to avoid sanctions or criticism. It applies to all officials of the government of the city, whether elected or appointed; all employees, whether classified or unclassified; and all members and/or employees of all boards, agencies, commissions, advisory committees, public trusts, and public benefit corporations of the city. Any person may file a complaint concerning violations of the Code of Ethics with the Ethics Review Board.

The Ethics Review Board is empowered to represent the public interest in the administration of any law within its jurisdiction; offer and enter into consent opinions regarding violations of the provisions of any law within its jurisdictions; refer to fact-finding complaints, advisory opinions, media reports, oral reports, referrals, or any other source; prescribe rules of order, evidence, and procedure to govern its meetings, hearings, and investigations; take such steps as may be necessary to maintain proper order and decorum during the course of its hearings and other proceedings, consistent with the resolution of matters coming before it for consideration; and include on the agenda for Board consideration any matter that is of interest to any Board member and that is within the Board’s jurisdiction.

History of Ethics Review Board
In 1996, citizens of New Orleans voted to amend the Home Rule Charter to mandate the Council to establish by ordinance an Ethics Review Board. Under that ordinance the Board is empowered to issue advisory opinions, promulgate rules regarding interpretation and enforcement of the Code of Ethics, retain counsel and impose fines. Other relevant Charter provisions can be found in Article IX, Chapter 1 (“Boards and Commissions in General”), as well as other provisions of the Home Rule Charter as it may relate to the context of the work of the Ethics Review Board.

The selection of board members occurred in December 2006 at which time the members met to begin their initial task of educating themselves on their new role. Under Article XIII, Sec. 2-1120 (3) of the Code of Ordinances for the City of New Orleans, the newly formed Ethics Review Board was required to begin a national search for the city’s first inspector general. The inspector general search began in March 2007 and a final selection was made in June 2007. In the subsequent months, the inspector general and the Ethics Review Board worked to secure an adequate joint budget appropriation for the Office of Inspector General and the Ethics Review Board in the amount of $3.4 million. Additionally, in 2007 the Board drafted Rules for the Ethics Review Board governing the transactions of its business.

Board & Staff

Office of Inspector General

Updates & Press Releases



ERB Records
  Laws and Regulations






Calendar Year 2014
ERB Regular Meeting Dates:

Tuesday, January 7
Tuesday, March, 11
Tuesday, May 6  (Cancelled)
Wednesday, May 21  (3:30pm-5:30pm)

Tuesday, July 1  (Cancelled)
Monday, July 7  (2pm-4:30pm)
Tuesday, September, 2
Tuesday, November 4

Special Meeting
Monday, June 23, 2014
3:30pm – 6pm
Algiers Regional Library
3014 Holiday Drive
New Orleans, LA 70131

Meeting Time:
Unless otherwise noted in
meeting agenda and/or above.

For meeting location, please check the meeting
agenda for each meeting date by clicking on
View Full Meeting Info below.

Meetings are open to the public.

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To submit a complaint:


Complete Online Form

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Advisory Opinions

Send your request for an advisory opinion to or to the address below:
Ethics Review Board
City of New Orleans
525 St. Charles Avenue
Suite 300
New Orleans, LA 70130

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board and staff

Board Members
The board consists of seven volunteer members who serve staggered terms of seven years each. Six members are appointed by the mayor from lists of three nominees each submitted by the presidents or chancellors of Dillard University, Loyola University, Southern University in New Orleans (SUNO), Tulane University, University of New Orleans (UNO), and Xavier University. The seventh member is appointed by the mayor. Each appointment is subject to the approval by a majority of the members of the city council.

Michael A. Cowan, Ph.D., Chair
Professor and Special Assistant to the President, Loyola University New Orleans

Dr. Michael A. Cowan is a psychologist and theologian. On the faculty of Loyola University since 1990, he also serves as special assistant to the university president. He was co-founder of the Jeremiah Group, an interracial and interfaith community organization, and Shades of Praise, the New Orleans interracial gospel choir. After Hurricane Katrina, he served as chief of staff of the Government Efficiency and Effectiveness Committee of the bring New Orleans Back Commission, and subsequently founded Common Good, a network of civil society organizations to build multiracial consensus on the rebuilding of New Orleans. He served on the Human Relations Commission of the City of New Orleans from 2001-2008, and chaired the commission from 2002-2008. He is a nominee of Loyola University; his term will expire June 30, 2015.

James A. Brown, J.D.
Shareholder, New Orleans
Liskow & Lewis

James A. Brown is a shareholder with the New Orleans law firm of Liskow & Lewis, P.L.C., and heads the firm’s Commercial Litigation Section as well as its Professional Liability Practice Group.  He also serves as the firm’s Loss Prevention Partner and formerly served on the Board of Directors.  His practice focuses on complex commercial and professional liability litigation, including commercial disputes, class action litigation, director and officer liability litigation, legal and accountant malpractice defense, trustee liability, and similar matters.  Mr. Brown is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.  He is ranked among America’s leading commercial litigators by Chambers and Partners USA Client Guide.  He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Legal Malpractice Defense, and Professional Malpractice Law.  He also is included in New Orleans Magazine’s listing of Top Lawyers.  He has been designated one of New Orleans’ “Leaders in Law - 2005” by New Orleans City Business Magazine. He is listed in Louisiana “Super Lawyers” and in Benchmark Litigation.  He is the current Chair of the American Bar Association Presidential Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability, and the former co-chair of the American Bar Association Professional Liability Litigation Committee.  Mr. Brown is an adjunct professor of trial advocacy and torts at the Louisiana State University Law Center and is a member of the New Orleans, Louisiana, and American Bar Associations.  He speaks and publishes regularly on issues of professional liability, ethics and fiduciary responsibility.  He also is active in various professional, community and philanthropic affairs.  He serves as a member of the Advisory Council for the LSU Honors College. Brown received his B.A. degree, summa cum laude and valedictorian, from Louisiana State University in 1981.  He received his J.D. from the LSU Law Center in 1984.  He is a member of various honorary societies, including Order of the Coif and Who’s Who in American Law.  He served as Editor-in-Chief of Volume 44 of the Louisiana Law Review and as law clerk to the Honorable Alvin B. Rubin, Circuit Judge, United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1984-1985. He and his wife of 32 years, Kelly, have three sons and one daughter-in-law. Nominated by the University of New Orleans, Mr. Brown's term will expire June 30, 2019.

Allen C. Miller, J.D., Vice Chair
Partner,  New Orleans Office
Phelps Dunbar LLP

Allen Miller practices in the area of commercial litigation. He concentrates his practice in the areas of general business torts; products liability; casualty litigation, banking and lender liability; class-action litigation; bankruptcy litigation; construction litigation and contracts; civil RICO; trade secrets litigation; professional malpractice; and a wide variety of other corporate litigation matters. He has extensive experience in complex commercial matters. Mr. Miller has handled a substantial number of cases from inception through resolution at trial, appeal and alternative dispute resolution where appropriate. His experience includes, without limitation, first chair litigation counsel in numerous bench and jury trials in state and federal court. He is solely responsible for the litigation strategy and handling of cases for several institutional firm clients, and regularly supervises commercial litigation associates and paralegals. His memberships and affiliations include: Louisiana State Bar Association, Minority Involvement Section,New Orleans Bar Association, American Bar Association, National Bar Association, Federal Bar Association (Board of Directors, Eastern District of Louisiana), International Association of Defense Counsel, Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel Trial Advocacy (Faculty Member, 2006 - Present), and National Institute of Trial Advocacy (Faculty Member, 2004 - Present). He is a “40 Under 40” Award Recipient (National Bar Association) as well as "40 Under 40” Award Recipient by Gambit Weekly. Additional board service includes Odyssey House of Louisiana, Inc., as Vice-President and Executive Committee Board Member, and member of the board of directors for WRBH Radio for the Blind and Print Handicapped. Mr. Miller is a graduate of Southern University Law Center and Xavier University. Mr. Miller's term will expire June 30, 2018. He is a nominee of Xavier University.

Joe M. Ricks, Jr., Ph.D., Secretary
Chair, Division of Business
J.P. Morgan Chase Professor of Sales & Marketing
Xavier University of Louisiana