In The Matter of Edward Drew
September 8, 2008
The State Ethics Commission and Edward Drew 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, s. 4(j).
On May 9, 2007, the Commission initiated, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, s. 4(a), a preliminary inquiry into possible violations of the conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A, by Drew. The Commission concluded its inquiry and, on November 15, 2007, found reasonable cause to believe that Drew violated G.L. c. 268A.
The Commission and Drew now agree to the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Findings of Fact
- From 2000 to 2007, Drew was the City of Waltham Police Chief. During his tenure as Police Chief, Drew often sought advice and guidance from the City Law Department and the State Ethics Commission on ethics and conflict of interest issues. He made a determined effort to comply with G.L. c. 268A.
- In 2002, Drew's daughter, Jennifer Vadnais, was hired by the Waltham Police Department ("Department") as a patrol officer.
- In the fall of 2005, three background investigator positions became available on the Department. Background investigator positions are temporary assignments for full-time, paid police officers in the Department.
- Vadnais applied to be a background investigator, but was not selected. Instead, Deputy Chief Paul Juliano approved three other officers for the openings and notified each of their appointment. Drew had no involvement in the selection process until his daughter was not selected.
- On November 23, 2005, after the officers were notified, Drew called Deputy Chief Juliano on Juliano's department-issued cell phone and discussed the process used to make the background investigator appointments. Drew took issue with the fact that Vadnais and others who were not selected were told that they did not have enough seniority, yet officers who had the same lack of seniority were solicited for the assignments. Drew also took issue with the fact that one of these officers received assurance of an appointment even though the officer had not applied for the assignment. Drew also told Juliano that unlike those who were not selected, some of those solicited or selected for the positions rarely turned in significant reports nor were they involved in noteworthy investigations. Drew also questioned why the Union officers who had applied were not selected and told Juliano that he saw problems with the Union arising over the process. During the approximately 35 minute conversation, Drew did not direct Juliano to take any specific actions with regard to the appointments.
- At the end of their conversation, Juliano told Drew that he would have one of the appointments withdrawn by eliminating one of the positions.
Juliano then caused to be cancelled one of the background investigator appointments. Consequently, only two individuals were appointed as background investigators and one of the appointees who had been notified of her selection was informed that she would not be a background investigator. Vadnais did not get the assignment.
Conclusions of Law
- As the Waltham Police Chief, Drew was a municipal employee as defined by G.L. c. 268A, s. 1(g).
- Section 23(b)(2) of G.L. c. 268A prohibits a municipal employee from, knowingly or with reason to know, using or attempting to use his official position to secure for himself or others unwarranted privileges or exemptions of substantial value not properly available to similarly situated individuals.
- The appointments to the background investigator positions were privileges.
- Drew called Deputy Chief Juliano, discussed the qualifications of the candidates for the background investigator position, and questioned the appointments approved by Juliano. Although he did not direct Juliano to take any specific action, Drew's phone call had a significant likelihood of causing Vadnais to be appointed as a background investigator. Therefore, Drew used his position to secure this privilege for Vadnais.
- This privilege was of substantial value based on the compensation paid to police officers.
- This privilege was unwarranted because, at the time Drew called Juliano to discuss the background investigator appointments, these appointments had already been made and Vadnais had not been selected. For the same reason, this privilege was not properly available to similarly situated individuals.
- Therefore, Drew violated s. 23(b)(2) as described above by attempting to use his official position as Police Chief to secure for Vadnais an unwarranted privilege of substantial value not properly available to similarly situated individuals.
In view of the foregoing violation of G.L. c. 268A by Drew, the Commission has determined that the public interest would be served by the disposition of this contested matter without further enforcement proceedings, on the basis of the following terms and conditions agreed to by Drew:
(1) that Drew pay to the Commission the sum of $1000.00 as a civil penalty for violating G.L. c. 268A as noted above; and
(2) that Drew 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