Date: May 29, 2014
The State Ethics Commission (“Commission”) and Demetrius Atsalis (“Atsalis”) enter into this Disposition Agreement pursuant to Section 5 of the Commission’s Enforcement Procedures. This Agreement constitutes a consented-to final order enforceable in the Superior Court, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, § 4(j).
On November 21, 2013, the Commission initiated, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, § 4(a), a preliminary inquiry into possible violations of the conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268B by Atsalis. On January 16, 2014, the Commission concluded its inquiry and found reasonable cause to believe that Atsalis violated G.L. c. 268B, § 5.
The Commission and Atsalis now agree to the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:
- Atsalis, a resident of West Hyannisport, served as an elected State Representative for more than 30 days in 2012.
- Having served as an elected public official for more than 30 days in 2012, Atsalis was required to file a Statement of Financial Interests (“SFI”) for calendar year 2012 in accordance with G.L. c. 268B.
- Atsalis’ SFI for 2012 was required to be filed by May 28, 2013, in accordance with G.L. c. 268B.
- Atsalis did not file an SFI on or before May 28, 2013. On June 5, 2013, the Commission sent by first class mail a Formal Notice of Lateness (“Notice”) to Atsalis. The Notice advised Atsalis that his SFI had not been filed and was, therefore, delinquent. The Notice further advised Atsalis that failure to file his 2012 SFI within 10 days of receipt of the Notice would result in the imposition of civil penalties. The Commission allows three days for receipt of the Notice if sent by first class mail. Therefore, Atsalis would not have incurred a civil penalty if he had filed his SFI by June 18, 2013.
- General Laws c. 268B, § 4 authorizes the Commission to impose a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation of c. 268B. The Commission has adopted the following civil penalty schedule for SFIs filed more than 10 days after the receipt of the Notice.
|1-10 days late|
11-20 days late
21-30 days late
31-40 days late
41-50 days late
51-60 days late
61-70 days late
71-80 days late
81-90 days late
91-100 days late
101- 110 days late
111-120 days late
121 days to the day before an Order to Show Cause is issued
The date an Order to Show Cause is issued to the day before a Decision and Order is issued by the Commission
The date a Decision and Order is issued by the Commission
Up to $10,000
- On August 8, 2013, Atsalis contacted the Commission and acknowledged that he had received the Notice. Atsalis filed his 2012 SFI with the Commission on August 19, 2013, eleven days later.
- In March 2014, after the Order to Show Cause was filed, Atsalis contacted the Enforcement Division to discuss this matter. According to Atsalis, he did not timely receive the Notice sent by the Commission. The Commission possesses documentation showing that the Commission sent the Notice to the post office box provided by Atsalis on both his 2010 and 2011 SFIs as his home address. Apparently, in electronically filling out his 2010 SFI, Atsalis transposed two numbers of his post office box address, and, as a result, provided the incorrect address. This error was carried over to his electronic filing of his 2011 SFI, and was not noticed or corrected by Atsalis.
- Although the exact date Atsalis received the Notice cannot be established, Atsalis stated that the Notice had been forwarded to his correct post office box and he acknowledged receiving the Notice on August 8, 2013. The Notice advised Atsalis that failure to file his 2012 SFI within 10 days of receipt of the Notice would result in the imposition of civil penalties. Therefore, based on the date Atsalis acknowledged receiving the Notice, August 8, 2013, he would not have incurred a civil penalty if he had filed his SFI by August 18, 2013. Atsalis filed his 2012 SFI with the Commission on August 19, 2013. Atsalis failed to timely file his SFI after receiving the Notice, and, therefore, violated G.L. c. 268B, § 5. Atsalis’ SFI was one day late, and based on the Commission’s fine schedule for late submission of an SFI, the civil penalty is $100.
In view of the foregoing violation of G.L. c. 268B by Atsalis, the Commission has determined that the public interest would be served by the disposition of this matter without further enforcement proceedings, on the basis of the following terms and conditions agreed to by Atsalis:
(1) that Atsalis pay to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with such payment to be delivered to the Commission, the sum of $100 as a civil penalty for violating G.L. c. 268B, § 5; and
(2) that Atsalis waive all rights to contest, in this or any other administrative or judicial proceeding to which the Commission is or may be a party, the findings of fact, conclusions of law and terms and conditions contained in this Agreement.
By signing below, Demetrius Atsalis acknowledges that he has personally read this Disposition Agreement, that it is a public document, and that he agrees to all of the terms and conditions therein.
STATE ETHICS COMMISSION
Karen L. Nober Date