AG: Angola Prison Rodeo must seek competitive bids

Chris Rizo Dec. 3, 2009, 2:38am


BATON ROUGE (Legal Newsline)-The Louisiana State Penitentiary must seek competitive bids to award a contract for livestock and other services for the annual Angola Prison Rodeo, the state attorney general's office said.

The formal legal opinion for the office of Louisiana state Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell was issued in response to a question posed by Angola Warden Burl Cain. He asked whether he could obtain rodeo contracts for the popular rodeo without taking competitive bids.

If considered contracts for professional or consulting services, state law does not require agencies to seek bids. The opinion was released Nov. 19.

In the legal opinion by Assistant Attorney General Michael Vallan, Caldwell's office said providing professional rodeo services would not be consulting services because the proposed contract would not involve a profession "founded upon prolonged and specialized intellectual training."

In his request for legal clarification, the Angola warden argued that rodeo performers are professionals.

"We have found that it is almost impossible to specify quality in trained bulls that come in and out of the chutes, horses and other stock. When the bulls won't come out of the gates, the roper has to be a skilled professional in order to prevent injury to the animal and to keep the show moving," Cain said.

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