Case No.: 128

Doc. Type: Agreements

Parties: IN THE MATTER OF ALLISON GOODSELL

Appearing: John H. Cunha, Jr., Esq.; Counsel for the Petitioner; No appearance on behalf of Respondent

Commissioners: Vorenberg, Chairman; Brickman; Bernstein; Kistler; McLaughlin

Date: April 22, 1981


DECISION AND ORDER


I. Procedural History


On August 20, 1980, the Petitioner filed an Order to Show
Cause alleging that the Respondent, Allison Goodsell, violated
s.5(g) of the Financial Disclosure Law, General Laws Chapter 268B,
by failing to file a Statement of Financial Interests for 1979(1979
SFI). On November 14, 1980, the Sheriff of Washington County, Rhode
Island, served the Order to Show Cause in hand to Respondent. The
Respondent failed to file an Answer. On December 16, 1980, the
Petitioner moved for a Summary Decision pursuant to 930 CMR 1.01
(6)(f)(2).[1] On January 7, 1981, the Petitioner submitted
affidavits of staff members

Page 39

of the State Ethics Commission (the Commission) stating they had
been informed telephonically by the Respondent's attorney, Bruce
Goodsell, that the Respondent had no intention of filing her 1979
SFl because inter alia, she was beyond the jurisdiction of the
Commission. Presiding Commissioner Bernstein[2] ordered the
Petitioner to file a brief setting forth the Petitioner's argument
that the Respondent is subject to the personal jurisdiction of the
Commission. Upon the timely filing of Petitioner's brief,
Commissioner Bernstein, on March 6, 1981, ordered the Respondent
to show cause why summary judgment should not be entered against
her for failure to file an Answer and to submit, as of March 24,
1981, a reply brief on the issue of personal jurisdiction. He
scheduled a hearing on the Petitioner's Motion for Summary Decision
on March 30,1981. Pursuant to notice, the full Commission attended
the hearing; the Petitioner argued but the Respondent made no appearance. The Commission deliberated and ruled on the
Petitioner's Motion in plenary session pursuant to 930 CMR 1.01
(6)(f)(2).[3]


II. Findings of Fact

1. The Respondent was designated a "public employee" within
the meaning of Chapter 268B Section 1(o) and worked for more than
eight (8) days as a public employee in 1979.

2. The Respondent failed to file her 1979 SFI on or before
May 1, 1980.

3. The Respondent failed to File her 1979 SFI after receiving
notice of her delinquency.


DECISION


Jurisdiction

The Respondent's residence in Rhode Island did not preclude
the Commission from obtaining personal jurisdiction over her in
this adjudicatory proceeding. Personal and subject matter
jurisdiction are conferred by General Laws Chapter 268B, Section
5(c).[4]


Violation

It is clear from the procedural history of this case that the
Respondent has had ample opportunity to participate in this
proceeding. No appearance, however, either special or general, has
been made on her behalf. We are compelled, therefore, to find that
Allison Goodsell violated Section 5(g) of General Laws Chapter 268B
by failing to file a 1979 SFI.


Penalty


In previous Final Decisions, the Commission chose not to
impose the maximum civil penalty for failure of a Respondent to
file a Statement of Financial Interests.[5] This case is
distinguishable from those because, unlike Respondents Buckley and
Almeida, Allison Goodsell refused to respond in any way to this
action. At a minimum, she could have made a special appearance to
challenge the Commission's personal jurisdiction, but chose instead
to ignore these proceedings. In so doing, she demonstrated a lack
of good faith in this matter.


ORDER


The Petitioner's Motion for a Summary Decision is granted.
Accordingly, the Respondent Allison Goodsell is ordered to:

1. File a Statement of Financial Interests for 1979 within
seven (7) days of receipt of this opinion; and

2. Pay a civil penalty of $1,000 (one thousand dollars) to
the Commission within thirty (30) days of receipt of this opinion.


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[]1 930 CMR 1.01 (6)(f)(2) provides as follows:
When the record discloses the failure of the Respondent to
file documents required by these Rules, to respond to notices or
correspondence, or to comply with the orders of the Commission or
Presiding Officer, or otherwise indicates a substantial failure to
cooperate with the Adjudicatory Proceeding, the Presiding Officer
may issue an order requiring that the Respondent show cause why a
summary decision should not be entered against him. if the
Respondent fails to show such cause, a summary decision may he
entered in favor of the Petitioner. Any such summary decision shall
be granted only by the Commission. shall be a Final Decision, and
shall be made in writing as provided in Section 9(m) of these
Rules.
[2] Single members of the Commission may preside over adjudicatory
proceedings. See 930 CMR 1.01 (1)(c)(8) which defines "Presiding
Officer" as "The individual . . . duly designated by the Commission
to conduct adjudicatory proceedings". see also In the Matter of
James J. Craven, Jr., Commission Adjudicatory Docket No. 110.
Decision and Order, p. 13 (June 18,1980).
[3] 930 CMR 1.01 (6)(f)(2) provides in pertinent part that "summary
decision shall be granted only by the Commission".
[4] G.L. c. 268B, s.5(c) provides as follows:
Every public employee shall file a statement of financial
interests for the preceding calendar year with the Commission
within ten days after becoming a public employee, on or before May
first of the year after such person ceases to be a public employee;
provided, however, that no public employee shall be required to
file a statement of financial interests for any year in which he
was a public employee for less than eight days.
We find no provisions within G.L. c. 268B which condition
these filing requirements on the choice of residence of the public
employee.
[5] The maximum civil penalty is established in G.L. c. 2689,
s.4(d)(3) which provides that "the Commission, upon a finding. .
. that there has been a violation of c. 268A or [c. 268B] may issue
an order requiring the violator to . . . (3) pay a civil penalty
of not more than $1,000 for each violation. . ." As to the
imposition of penalties for violations of Section 5(g) of G.L. c.
268B, see In the Matter of John R. Buckley, Commission Adjudicatory
Docket No. 108 Decision and Order, pp. 26-27 (May 7,1980) and In
the Matter of Victor Almeida, Commission Adjudicatory Docket No.
104, Decision and Order, p. 8 (July 10.1980).

End Of Decision