June 8, 2010

Disposition Agreement

The State Ethics Commission and Elizabeth Story ("Story") 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).

The State Ethics Commission is authorized to enforce G.L. c. 268B, the Financial Disclosure Law, and in that regard to initiate and conduct adjudicatory proceedings. On October 16, 2009, the Commission found reasonable cause to believe that Story violated G.L. c. 268B, § 5, and authorized the initiation of adjudicatory proceedings.

The Commission and Story now agree to the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:

1. Story served as a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Fiscal Officer for more than 30 days in 2008. As a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Fiscal Officer, Story was a state employee as that term is defined in G.L. c. 268A, § 1.

2. In accordance with G.L. c. 268B and 930 CMR 2.00, Story's position of Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Fiscal Officer was designated as a major policy-making position for calendar year 2008. As such, Story was required to file a Statement of Financial Interests ("SFI") for calendar year 2008 by May 1, 2009, in accordance with G.L. c. 268B and 930 CMR 2.00.

3. Story was notified of her obligation to file an SFI for calendar year 2008.

4. Story did not file an SFI on or before May 1, 2009.

5. On May 4, 2009, the Commission sent by first class mail a Formal Notice of Lateness ("Notice") to Story. The Notice advised Story that her SFI had not been filed and was, therefore, delinquent. The Notice further advised Story that failure to file her 2008 SFI within 10 days of receipt of such 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, the SFI was required to be filed by May 18, 2009.

6. Story did not file an SFI with the Commission until June 25, 2009.

7. Story's failure to file an SFI within 10 days of receiving the Notice was a violation of G.L. c. 268B, § 5.

8. General Laws c. 268B, § 4 authorizes the Commission to impose a civil penalty of up to $2,000 for each violation of c. 268B. [1] The Commission has adopted two schedules of penalties imposing fines for SFIs filed more than 10 days after the receipt of the Notice.

For first time late submission of an SFI:

1-10 days delinquent: $50

11-20 days delinquent: $100

21-30 days delinquent: $200

31 days or more: $500

Non-filing: $2000

For the repeated late submission of an SFI:

1-10 days delinquent: $100

11-20 days delinquent: $200

21-30 days delinquent: $400

31 days or more: $1000

Non-filing: $2000


9. This is the first time Story submitted her SFI late.

10. Story's SFI was more than 31 days late and based on the Commission's fine schedule for first time late submission of an SFI, the fine is $500.

In view of the foregoing violation of G.L. c. 268B, § 5 by Story, the Commission has determined that the public interest would be served by the disposition of this matter without further enforcement proceedings, based on the following terms and conditions agreed to by Story:

  • that Story pay to the Commission the sum of $500 as a civil penalty for violating G.L. c. 268B, § 5; and
  • that Story 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.

STATE ETHICS COMMISSION

__ //signed//____________ 5/12/10_ __ //signed//___________ 6/8/10__
Elizabeth Story Date Karen L. Nober Date
Executive Director


I, Elizabeth Story, have personally read the above Disposition Agreement. I understand that it will be a public document, and that by signing it, I will have to pay $500 to the State Ethics Commission. In addition, I understand that if I again subsequently fail to timely file my SFI, I will be subject to the fine schedule for the repeated late submission of an SFI.

__ //signed//___________ 4/2/10__
Elizabeth Story Date

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[1] During the time relevant, General Laws c. 268B authorized the Commission to impose a civil penalty of up to $2,000 for each violation of c. 268B. General Laws c. 268B has since been amended by c. 28 and c. 105 of the Acts of 2009 . Among other amendments, the maximum civil penalty has been increased to $10,000.