August 1, 2011
On June 24, 2011, the parties filed a Joint Motion to Suspend Proceedings, Accept Proposed Disposition Agreement and Dismiss the Proceedings ("Joint Motion"), requesting that the Commission approve a Disposition Agreement in settlement of this matter and dismiss this adjudicatory proceeding. Pursuant to 930 CMR 1.01(6)(a) and (c), the Presiding Officer, Patrick J. King, referred the Joint Motion, along with the Disposition Agreement, to the full Commission for deliberations on July 15, 2011.
In the Disposition Agreement, Respondent A. Joseph DeNucci ("DeNucci"), the former State Auditor, admits that he violated G.L. c. 268A, § 23(b)(2)  / when he directed his staff to interview his first cousin, Guy Spezzano, and then offered him a job as a fraud examiner in the State Auditor's Bureau of Special Investigations. DeNucci admits that by his actions, he knowingly used his position as State Auditor to hire his cousin which was a privilege of substantial value because the salary was $40,545, plus benefits. The privilege was unwarranted because at the time he was hired, his cousin was not qualified for the position based on the job description. The privilege also was not properly available to similarly situated individuals.
DeNucci agrees to pay a civil penalty of $2,000  / for his § 23(b)(2)violation. He further agrees to waive all rights to contest the findings of fact, conclusions of law and terms and conditions contained in the Disposition Agreement in this and any other administrative or judicial proceeding to which the Commission is or may be a party. DeNucci has tended the payment of the $2,000 civil penalty.
In support of the Joint Motion, the parties assert that the interests of justice, the parties and the Commission will be served by the Disposition Agreement which addresses all the allegations of the Order to Show Cause.  / They further assert that the Disposition Agreement will fairly resolve this matter and obviate the need for a hearing, thus saving the resources and time of all participants.
WHEREFORE, the Commission hereby ALLOWS the Joint Motion. The Disposition Agreement is APPROVED. DeNucci's tendered payment of the $2,000 civil penalty for violating § 23(b)(2) is accepted. Commission Adjudicatory Docket No. 10-0019, In the Matter of A. Joseph DeNucci, is DISMISSED.
 / At the relevant time, § 23(b)(2) prohibited a state 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 ($50 or more) which were not properly available to similarly situated individuals. The conduct in this matter occurred prior to the 2009 amendment of G.L. c. 268A.
 / This is the maximum penalty that may be imposed because the conduct involves one 2008 incident that occurred prior to the increased penalties available with the 2009 amendment of G.L. c. 268A.
 / The parties state that the § 23(b)(3) count in the Order to Show Cause was dropped because it was based on the same conduct as the § 23(b)(2) violation.