IN THE MATTER OF WILLIAM G. DOHERTY
Date: September 24, 1984
This Disposition Agreement (Agreement) is entered into between
the State Ethics Commission (Commission) and William G. Doherty
(Mr. Doherty) 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(d).
On March 12, 1984, the Commission initiated a preliminary
inquiry into possible violations of the conflict of interest law,
G.L. c. 268A, involving Mr. Doherty, an industrial relations
adjuster (mediator) for the State Board of Conciliation and
Arbitration (SBCA). The Commission has concluded that preliminary
inquiry and, on August 14, 1984, found reasonable cause to believe
that Mr. Doherty violated G.L. c. 268A, s.s.23(paragraph 2)(1) and
(3). The parties now agree to the following findings of fact and
conclusions of law:
1. Mr. Doherty has been employed as an SBCA mediator since 1949.
As an SBCA mediator, he is a state employee as defined in G.L. c.
268A, s.1(q). His duties typically include being assigned to labor
disputes between management and union parties where, as an
intermediary between those parties, he attempts to reconcile their
2. Between April and August of 1983, Mr. Doherty was assigned
to mediate three matters, each of which involved the Teamsters
Union; one in late April 1983, another in June 1983, and the last
in August 1983. In approximately the same period, Mr. Doherty
accepted private employment as an arbitrator in two
disputes involving the Teamsters Union in August, 1983; Mr. Doherty
received $1400 as compensation for providing these arbitration
services, paid in equal shares by the union and management.
3. General laws c. 268A, s.23(paragraph 2)(1) prohibits a state
employee from accepting other employment which will impair his
independence of judgment in the exercise of his official duties.
4. General laws c. 268A, s.23(paragraph 2)(3) prohibits a state
employee from by his conduct giving reasonable basis for the
impression that any person can improperly influence or unduly enjoy
his favor in the performance of his official duties.
5. By accepting paid private arbitrations involving an
organization with which he was currently working in SBCA
mediations, Mr. Doherty both accepted employment which would have
impaired his independence of judgment in the exercise of his
official duties and by his conduct gave a reasonable basis for the
impression that the private organization in question could
improperly influence or unduly enjoy his favor in the performance
of his official duties, thereby violating s.s.23(paragraph 2)(1)*
and (3), respectively.
WHEREFORE, 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. Doherty:
1. that he pay to the Commission a civil penalty in the
amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00) for violating G.L.
c. 268A, s.s.23(paragraph 2)(1) and (3);
2. that he pay to the Commission the economic benefit he
obtained through these violations, namely the fourteen hundred
dollars ($1400) he received for the two private arbitrations;
3. that he waive all rights to contest the findings of
fact, conclusions of law and terms and conditions contained
in this Agreement or related administrative or judicial
proceedings to which the Commission is a party.
* The Commission, in previously dealing with an SBCA mediator in
a similar situation, observed, "It is well established that
mediators must maintain complete independence in the resolution of
contract disputes." EC-COI-82-7.
End Of Decision