BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — An Adjudicatory Board of the LouisianaBoard of Ethics has dismissed ethics charges filed in 2009 against former St. John the Baptist Parish Councilman Steve Lee.

The Times-Picayune reports the charges stemmed from council votes Lee cast that involved companies to which he sold insurance.

While the dismissal by the Ethics Adjudicatory Board is not a ruling on the merits of the charges, the three-judge panel said the charges were prematurely forwarded to them and that the Ethics Board's co-mingling of the prosecutorial function with the investigation created a conflict that denied Lee due process of an independent determination.

Kathleen Allen, an Ethics Board administrator and general counsel, said she "strongly disagrees" with the decision and will request a rehearing of the matter.