May 29, 2013

DISPOSITION AGREEMENT

The State Ethics Commission and Michael Byrnes 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 October 26, 2012, the Commission initiated, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, § 4(a), a preliminary inquiry into a possible violation of G.L. c. 268B, by Byrnes.  The Commission concluded its inquiry and, on January 18, 2013, found reasonable cause to believe that Byrnes violated G.L. c. 268B.  On March 12, 2013, the Enforcement Division filed an Order to Show Cause initiating adjudicatory proceedings.

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

  1. Byrnes, a resident of Melrose, served as the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Labor Director for more than 30 days in 2011.  Byrnes is no longer serving as the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Labor Director.
  2. As the  Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Labor Director, Byrnes was a state employee as that term is defined in G.L. c. 268A, § 1.
  3. In accordance with G.L. c. 268B and 930 CMR 2.00, Byrnes’ position of Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Labor Director was designated as a major policy-making position for calendar year 2011.  As such, Byrnes was required to file a Statement of Financial Interests (“SFI”) for calendar year 2011 in accordance with G.L. c. 268B and 930 CMR 2.00.
  4. Byrnes’ SFI for 2011 was required to be filed by May 1, 2012, in accordance with G.L. c. 268B and 930 CMR 2.00.  Byrnes was informed of his obligation to file an SFI for calendar year 2011.
  5. Byrnes did not file an SFI on or before May 1, 2012.  On May 8, 2012, the Commission sent by first class mail a Formal Notice of Lateness (“Notice”) to Byrnes.  The Notice advised Byrnes that his SFI had not been filed and was, therefore, delinquent.  The Notice further advised Byrnes that failure to file his 2011 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, Byrnes would not have incurred a civil penalty if he had filed his SFI by May 21, 2012.
  6. Byrnes filed an SFI with the Commission on January 22, 2013.
  7. Byrnes failed to timely file his SFI after receiving the Notice, and, therefore, violated G.L. c. 268B, § 5.
  8. 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

$100

11-20 days late

$200

21-30 days late

$300

31-40 days late

$400

41-50 days late

$500

51-60 days late

$600

61-70 days late

$700

71-80 days late

$800

81-90 days late

$900

91-100 days late

$1,000

101- 110 days late

$1,100

111-120 days late

$1,200

121 days to the day before an Order to Show Cause is issued

 

$1,250

The date an Order to Show Cause is issued to the day before a Decision and Order is issued by the Commission

 

 

$2,500

The date a Decision and Order is issued by the Commission

 

Up to $10,000

 

  1. Byrnes’ SFI was 246 days late, and based on the Commission’s fine schedule for late submission of an SFI, the civil penalty is $1,250.
  2. Byrnes provided documented mitigating circumstances[1] that justify reducing the civil penalty to $625. 

In view of the foregoing violation of G.L. c. 268B by Byrnes, 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 Byrnes:

    1. that Byrnes pay to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with such payment delivered to the  Commission, the sum of $625 as a civil penalty for violating G.L. c. 268B, § 5; and
    2. that Byrnes 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, Michael Byrnes 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

___//signed//                 5/8/13_           __//signed//                    5/29/13_

Michael Byrnes               Date            Karen L. Nober                Date

                                                            Executive Director

 

 



[1] Documented mitigating circumstances were provided under a protective order pursuant to 930 CMR 1.01(7)(f).