Docket No. 374
In the Matter of Lawrence J. Cibley
September 6, 1989
This Disposition Agreement (Agreement) is entered into between
the State Ethics Commission (Commission) and Lawrence J. Cibley
(Mr. Cibley) pursuant to Section 11 of the Commission's Enforcement
Procedures. This Agreement constitutes a consented to final
Commission order enforceable in the Superior Court pursuant to G.L.
c. 268B, s.4(j).
On April 12, 1989, the Commission initiated a preliminary
inquiry into a possible violation of the conflict of interest law,
G.L. c. 266A by Mr. Cibley, the chairman of the Bellingham Board
of Selectmen. The Commission concluded its inquiry, and on May 31,
1989, found reasonable cause to believe that Mr. Cibley violated
G.L. c. 266A, s.23(b)(2) and (3).
The Commission and Mr. Cibley now agree to the following
findings of fact and conclusions of law:
1. At all material times herein, Mr. Cibley was the chairman of
the Bellingham Board of Selectmen. Accordingly, Mr. Cibley is a
municipal employee as defined in G.L c. 266A, s.1(g).
2. On February 19, 1989, at approximately 1:00 A.M., Patrolman
Allan W. Graham, Jr. and Officer Paul Lynch were conducting a
stationary radar at a certain site in Bellingham. The area was
posted at 25 miles per hour. Officer Graham stopped Alfred DaPrato
(Mr. DaPrato) in his vehicle, having clocked him at 50 miles per
hour and issued him a ticket with a fine of $200.
3. Shortly after Mr. DaPrato received this speeding ticket, he
called Mr. Cibley and said that he had been stopped and issued a
speeding ticket for traveling 50 miles per hour in a 25 miles per
hour one. According to Mr. Cibley, Mr. DaPrato told him that he
asked the arresting officer if he could see the radar unit, and the
According to Mr. Cibley, he called the Police Department and was
referred to Officer Graham. Mr. Cibley's call was on the
Department's recorded line.
According to a transcript of the taped telephone conversation, the
following conversation took place between Mr. Cibley and Allan
Cibley: Who's this?
Graham: Officer Graham.
Cibley: You just stopped my buddy.
Graham: Did I? O.K
Cibley: Freddie DaPrato, D, small A, capital P
Graham: All right.
Cibley: Will you take care of it for me?
Cibley: He's a real good friend?
Cibley: I mean a very special friend, all right?
Graham: Uh huh.
Cibley: I appreciate it, I owe you one.
Graham: All right.
Cibley: Thanks pal.
4. Mr. Cibley acknowledges the accuracy of the foregoing tape.
He also acknowledges that in effect he was attempting to "fix" Mr.
5. Officer Graham did not "take care of" the ticket. Instead,
on February 21, 1989, he filed an incident report regarding the
above speeding ticket and conversation.
6. General Laws, chapter 268A s.23(b)(2) prohibits a municipal
employee from using or attempting to use his official position to
secure for himself or others unwarranted privileges or exemptions
that are of substantial value and that are not properly available
to similarly situated individuals.
7. General Laws, chapter 268A s.23(b)(3) prohibits a municipal
employee from acting in a manner that 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.
8. By attempting to "fix" a $200 speeding ticket, Mr. Cibley
attempted to use his position as selectman to obtain an unwarranted
privilege of substantial value for Mr. DaPrato. In addition, such
conduct would cause a reasonable person knowing all of these facts
to conclude that either Mr. DaPrato and/or Officer Graham could
unduly enjoy Mr. Cibley's favor in the performance of his official
In view of the foregoing violation of G.L. c. 268A s.23(b)(2)
and (3), 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 Mr. Cibley:
1. that he pay to the Commission the amount of one thousand
dollars ($1,000.00) as a civil penalty for his violation of
s.23(b)(2) and (3);
2. that he waive all rights to contest the findings of fact,
conclusions of law, and terms and conditions contained in this
agreement and any related administrative or judicial proceeding
to which the Commission is or may be a party.