In the Matter of Terry Edwards
April 2, 2009
Disposition Agreement

The State Ethics Commission and Terry Edwards 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, section 4(j).

On June 8, 2006, the Commission initiated, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, section 4(a), a preliminary inquiry into possible violations of the conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A, by Edwards. The Commission concluded its inquiry and, on October 17, 2007, found reasonable cause to believe that Edwards violated G.L. c. 268A. On April 8, 2008, the Commission's Enforcement Division filed an Order to Show Cause alleging that Edwards had violated G.L. c. 268A.

The Commission and Edwards now agree to the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Findings of Fact

1. From March 2002 to November 2002, Thomas Kennedy was a Massachusetts Highway Department ("MHD") construction inspector assigned to inspect the work of contractor P.A. Landers, Inc. on Route 44 near Plymouth.

2. P.A. Landers delivered truckloads of asphalt to the Route 44 project site. Prior to delivery, the loads of asphalt were weighed at the P.A. Landers plant and the drivers were given a weight slip. Kennedy's duties included inspecting P.A. Landers' deliveries of asphalt at the Route 44 site for foreign objects and conducting random yield inspections to verify that P.A. Landers was providing adequate amounts of asphalt.

3. After conducting these inspections, Kennedy signed the weight slips provided by the P.A. Landers truck drivers. Kennedy forwarded the signed weight slips to his supervisor who signed them and submitted them to MHD for payment. These weight slips were necessary for P.A. Landers to receive payment for its work on the project.

4. Edwards was P.A. Landers' project manager for the Route 44 project.

5. From May 2002 through November 2002, while assigned to the Route 44 project, Kennedy solicited and received cash payments from Edwards for Kennedy's gasoline expenses.

6. Kennedy submitted his gas payment receipts and received cash payments from Edwards on a bi-weekly basis. Each of the payments averaged $200. During the period from May 2002 through November 2002, Edwards gave and Kennedy received a total of between $2,000 and $2,700 in cash payments.

7. Edwards gave these cash payments to Kennedy using P.A. Landers' funds.

8. Kennedy was not authorized to receive cash payments for any purpose from any contractor under his supervision.

9. Kennedy received reimbursement by the MHD for any expenses he incurred in using his personal vehicle to get to and from the Route 44 project.

10. At the times Edwards agreed to provide and provided these cash payments, he did so with the intent to cause Kennedy to relax or to continue to relax his inspections of P.A. Landers' asphalt deliveries on the Route 44 project site in exchange for these payments. Also at the times Edwards agreed to provide and provided these cash payments, he was concerned that if Kennedy did not receive the cash payments, P.A. Landers risked delays in Kennedy's processing of official project paperwork necessary for P.A. Landers to receive payment for its work on the project.

11. As a result of the cash payments, Kennedy and Edwards reached an understanding that Kennedy would make things "go a little smoother" on the project.

12. In return for the cash payments, Kennedy relaxed his inspections of P.A. Landers' asphalt deliveries on the Route 44 project. For example, on June 29, 2002, Kennedy signed six P.A. Landers weight slips without conducting proper inspections. Kennedy also sped up the processing of official paperwork necessary for P.A. Landers to receive payment for its work on the project.

Conclusions of Law

13. As an MHD construction inspector, Kennedy was a state employee as defined by G.L. c. 268A, section 1(q).

Section 2(a)

14. Section 2(a) of Chapter 268A prohibits anyone from corruptly giving anything of value to any state employee with intent to influence any official act or act within his official responsibility.

15. Edwards gave to Kennedy between $2,000 and $2,700 in cash payments between May 2002 and November 2002.

16. At the times Edwards made these cash payments, he did so with the intent in return for these payments to influence Kennedy's performance of certain duties as an MHD construction inspector, including Kennedy's inspection of asphalt deliveries and his processing of official project paperwork necessary for P.A. Landers to receive payment for its work on the Route 44 project. Accordingly, Edwards corruptly gave these payments.

17. Each of the cash payments was an item of value.

18. In return for these payments, Kennedy was influenced in the performance of his inspections of P.A. Landers' asphalt deliveries. Specifically, Kennedy signed six P.A. Landers weight slips without conducting proper inspections. Kennedy also sped up the processing of official paperwork necessary for P.A. Landers to receive payment for its work on the project.

19. Kennedy's inspections and certifications of P.A. Landers' asphalt deliveries were official acts and/or acts within his official responsibility. Kennedy's processing of official project paperwork necessary for P.A. Landers to receive payment for its work on the project were also official acts and/or acts within his official responsibility.

20. Therefore, Edwards repeatedly violated section 2(a) by, as described above, corruptly giving cash payments of value to Kennedy with the intent to influence Kennedy in his performance of official acts and/or acts within his official responsibility.

Resolution


In view of the foregoing violations of G.L. c. 268A by Terry Edwards, 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 Edwards:

(1) that Edwards pay to the Commission the sum of $5,000 as a civil penalty for repeatedly violating G.L. c. 268A section 2(a) [1]; and

(2) that Edwards 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

By:

//signed//_________________
Karen L. Nober
Executive Director

Date: April 2, 2009

____ //signed//____________________
Terry Edwards

Date: March 20, 2009

I, Terry Edwards, have personally read the above Disposition Agreement. I understand that it is a public document and that by signing it, I have agreed to all of the terms and conditions therein including payment of $5,000 to the State Ethics Commission.

____ //signed//_______________________
Terry Edwards


Date: March 20, 2009



[1] The fine amount has been reduced to take into consideration the fact that Edwards cooperated with the Federal Government in providing testimony against P.A. Landers and Kennedy.