Docket No.: 232


IN THE MATTER OF NICHOLAS PALEOLOGOS


Appearing:

Marilyn L. O'Connell, Esq.: Counsel for
Petitioner State Ethics Commission

Nicholas Paleologos: pro se


Commissioners:

Diver, Ch.; Brickman, Burns, McLaughlin, Mulligan


Date: January 13, 1984


DECISION AND ORDER


I. Procedural History


The Petitioner filed an Order to Show Cause on September 26,
1983 alleging that the Respondent,

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Nicholas Paleologos, had violated of M.G.L. c. 268B, s.5[1] by
failing to file his Statement of Financial Interests for 1982
(Statement) within ten days of receiving from the Commission a
Formal Notice of Delinquency.
Pursuant to notice, an adjudicatory hearing was conducted on
November 15,1983 before Commissioner David Brickman, a duly
designated presiding officer. See, M.G.L. c. 268B, s.4(c). The
parties filed post-hearing briefs but waived their right to present
oral arguments before the full Commission. In rendering this
Decision and Order, each participating member of the Commission has
considered the evidence and arguments presented by the parties.


II. Findings of Fact


1. The Respondent, Nicholas Paleologos, has been a State
Representative from Woburn since, 1977.

2. As a person holding "public office"[2] in 1982, the
Respondent was a "public official"[3] and was required to file a
Statement for 1982 on or before May 31, 1983.

3. The Respondent failed to file his 1982 Statement by May 31,
1983.

4. On June 7, 1983, the Respondent received from the Commission
a Formal Notice of Delinquency (Notice) requiring him to file his
Statement within ten days of receipt of the Notice.

5. The Respondent failed to file his 1982 Statement within ten
days of receipt of the Notice.

6. The Commission initiated a preliminary inquiry on July
19,1983 pursuant to the Respondent's failure to file his 1982
Statement and thereafter authorized the initiation of adjudicatory
proceedings.

7. The Respondent filed his 1982 Statement on July 18, 1983,
twenty days after the expiration of the ten-day period contained
in the Notice.

8. The Respondent admits receiving the Commission's Notice but
states that he made a "conscious decision" to put the Notice aside
until his General Court activities during that time period had
subsided.


III. Decision


The failure of a reporting person to file a Statement within
ten days after receiving a notice of delinquency constitutes a
violation of M.G.L. c. 268B, s.5. The elements necessary to
establish a M.G.L. c. 268B, s.5 violation are that: (1) the subject
was a public official (as defined by the statute) during the year
in question; (2) the subject was notified in writing of his
delinquency and the possible penalties for failure to file a
statement; (3) the subject did not file a statement within ten days
of receiving notice. Inasmuch as the Respondent conceded at the
adjudicatory hearing that he failed to file his 1982 Statement
within ten days of receiving the Commission's Notice, the
Commission concludes that the Respondent violated M.G.L. c. 268B,
s.5.


IV. Sanction


Under M.G.L. c. 268B, s.4(d), the Commission may order an
individual who violates M.G.L. c. 268B to pay a civil penalty of
not more than $2,000.00 for each violation. In cases involving
Statements which are filed late, the Commission imposes a fine
calculated on the number of days which elapse after the expiration
of the ten-day period following the Commission's Notice.[4] While
the Commission does retain the discretion to adjust a civil penalty
in recognition of mitigating circumstances, none of the factors
warranting mitigation are present in this case.[5]


V. Order


On the basis of the foregoing, the Commission concludes that
Nicholas Paleologos violated M.G.L. c. 268B, s.5. Pursuant to the
authority granted it by M.G.L. c. 268B, s.4(d), the Commission
hereby orders Mr. Paleologos to pay a civil penalty of three
hundred dollars ($300.00).

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[1] M.G.L. c. 268B, states in relevant part:

(b) Every public official shall file a statement of financial
interests for the preceding calendar year with the commission on
or before the last Tuesday in May of each year that such public
official holds such office and on or before May first of the year
after such public official leaves such office. . . .

(g) Failure of a reporting person to file a statement of
financial interests within ten days aster receiving notice as
provided in clause (f) of section 3 of this chapter, or the filing
of an incomplete statement of financial interests after receipt of
such a notice, is a violation of this chapter and the commission
may initiate appropriate proceedings pursuant to the provisions of
section 4 of this chapter.

[2] For the purposes of M.G.L. c. 268B, "public office" is defined
as: any position for which one is nominated at a state primary or
chosen at a state election.,. M.G.L. c. 268B, s.1(p).

[3] For the purposes of M.G.L. c. 268B, "public official" is
defined as: anyone who holds a public office, as defined by clause
(p) of this section. - . M.G.L. c. 268B, s.1(q).

[4] On April 12, 1983. the Commission adopted a schedule for the
imposition of civil penalties on those who fail to file timely
Statements within ten days after receipt of a Notice. The schedule
calls for a daily fine of $10.00 per day for the first ten working
days and $20.00 per working day thereafter.

[5] The Respondent asserts that his participation in the House
Budget Debates and the remodeling of his office between May and
July caused him to forget to file his Statement as required.
However, disruption such as the Respondent has described can not
serve as a mitigating factor where the Respondent was on notice to
file his Statement and deliberately chose to delay complying with
the law, Compare, In the Matter of David Kopelman, 1989 Ethics
Commission 124.

End Of Decision