December 20, 2010
This Disposition Agreement is entered into between the State Ethics Commission ("Commission") and Daniel Dean ("Dean") pursuant to Section 5 of the Commission's Enforcement Procedures. This Agreement constitutes a consented-to final order enforceable in Superior Court, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, § 4(j).
On July 17, 2009, the Commission initiated, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, § 4(a), a preliminary inquiry into possible violations of the conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A, by Dean. On February 19, 2010, the Commission concluded its inquiry and found reasonable cause to believe that Dean had violated G.L. c. 268A, §§ 20 and 23(b)(3).
The Commission and Dean now agree to the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:
Findings of Fact
1. Dean has been a City of Lynn ("City") Board of Health Sanitary Inspector ("BOH Inspector") since August 15, 2004.
2. The City's Mayor appointed Dean a constable in April 2005. Dean's term expired in March 2008.
3. In or about April 2006, Dean was hired by fellow BOH Inspector Louis Picano to perform private constable services.
4. Prior to hiring Dean to perform private constable services, Picano had been put on written notice by the Commission that (1) G.L. c. 268A, § 20 prohibited BOH Inspectors from holding both BOH Inspector and City constable positions unless their work as constables was part of their BOH Inspector duties and they did not receive additional compensation for performing constable services; and (2) performing BOH inspections of properties owned by private parties for whom he had performed constable services violated G.L. c. 268A, § 23(b)(3).
5. According to Dean, Picano did not inform Dean of these restrictions instead advised that it was proper for Dean to perform constable services.
6. From 2006 through March 2008, Dean, through Picano Constable Services, performed at least 193 constable services in the City for private parties, including serving notices to quit, summary process complaints, 48-hour notices to vacate and physical evictions.
7. Picano Constable Services charged fees for constable services ranging from $40-65 for notices to quit, summary process complaints and 48-hour notices to vacate, and $100 for physical evictions.
8. From 2006 through March 2008, Dean earned an average of $12.00 for each constable service he performed.
9. From 2006 through 2008, Dean earned approximately $3,000 in total for performing constable services for private parties through Picano Constable Services.
10. On at least six occasions between 2006 and March 2008, Dean performed inspections as a BOH Inspector on properties owned by private parties for whom he had performed constable services.
Conclusions of Law
11. Section 20 of G.L. c. 268A prohibits a municipal employee from having a financial interest, directly or indirectly, in a contract made by a municipal agency of the same city or town, in which the same city or town is an interested party of which financial interest the employee has knowledge or reason to know.
12. As a BOH Inspector, Dean was a municipal employee as that term is defined in G.L. c. 268A, § 1(g).
13. Dean's constable appointment was a contract made by the City through the Mayor in which the City was an interested party.
14. Dean had a financial interest in his constable appointment contract each time that he accepted payment for his constable services to private parties.
15. Dean knew or had reason to know of his financial interests in the constable appointment contract.
16. Therefore, Dean, while being a BOH Inspector, violated § 20 on each occasion that he received payment for his constable services to private parties pursuant to his constable appointment contract made by the City, in which the City was an interested party.
17. Section 23(b)(3) of G.L. c. 268A prohibits a municipal employee from, knowingly, or with reason to know, acting in a manner which would cause a reasonable person, having knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to conclude that any person can improperly influence or unduly enjoy his favor in the performance of his official duties, or that he is likely to act or fail to act as a result of kinship, rank, position or undue influence of any party or person. The section further provides that it shall be unreasonable to so conclude if such officer or employee has disclosed in writing to his appointing authority or, if no appointing authority exists, discloses in a manner which is public in nature, the facts which would otherwise lead to such a conclusion.
18. On at least six occasions, Dean, in his capacity as a BOH Inspector, inspected properties owned by private parties for whom he had performed constable services.
19. Each time Dean performed official BOH inspections for private parties for whom he had performed constable services, Dean, knowingly or with reason to know, acted in a manner which would cause a reasonable person, having knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to conclude that those property owners could improperly influence or unduly enjoy Dean's favor in the performance of his official duties. Dean did not file any disclosures to dispel these appearances of impropriety. In so acting, Dean repeatedly violated G.L. c. 268A, § 23(b)(3).
In view of the foregoing violations of G.L. c. 268A by Dean, 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 Dean:
(1) that Dean pay to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with such payment to be delivered to the Commission, the sum of $5,000 as a civil penalty for repeatedly violating G.L. c. 268A, §§ 20 and 23(b)(3); and
(2) that Dean 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//_________________ __ //signed//___________ 12/20/10_
Daniel Dean Date Karen L. Nober Date
I, Daniel Dean, have personally read the above Disposition Agreement. I
understand that it is a public document and that by signing it, I will have agreed
to all of the terms and conditions therein, including payment of $5,000 to
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with such payment to be delivered to
the State Ethics Commission.
Daniel Dean Date