Docket No. 520
In the Matter of Edward J. Kennedy, Jr.
April 24, 1995
This Disposition Agreement ("Agreement") is entered into
between the State Ethics Commission ("Commission") and Edward J.
Kennedy, Jr. ("Kennedy") pursuant to s.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 November 8, 1994, the Commission initiated, pursuant to
G.L. c. 268B, s.4(j), a preliminary inquiry into possible
violations of the conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A, by
Kennedy. The Commission has concluded its inquiry and, on April
11, 1995, found reasonable cause to believe that Kennedy violated
G.L. c. 268A, s.23.
The Commission and Kennedy now agree to the following
findings of fact and conclusions of law:
1. Kennedy was, during the time relevant, a Middlesex
County Commissioner. As such, Kennedy was a county employee as
that term is defined in G.L. c. 268A, s.1.
2. As of July 1994, Kennedy had filed nomination papers for
the Democratic primary for Middlesex North District Register of
Deeds. The North District is comprised of the City of Lowell and
3. By mid-to-late July 1994, Kennedy had obtained voter
registration lists as "checked" (indicating who had voted at the
prior elections) for all of the nine towns in the North District,
but not for the City of Lowell.
4. On the evening of July 28, 1994, at Kennedy's request,
two county employees moved a Middlesex County copier from the
county's office in Cambridge to the Election Office in Lowell.
5. At approximately 8:45 a.m. the next morning, at
Kennedy's request, the same two county employees tried to use the
above-described copy machine to copy the City of Lowell voter
list. The copy machine would not work. (It was apparently out
of toner.) One of the county employees so informed Kennedy. At
approximately 11:00 a.m., Kennedy arrived at the Election Office.
They still could not get the machine to work. Kennedy instructed
the county employees to return the machine to Cambridge. They
did so. Meanwhile, Kennedy paid $115 to have the voter list
copied at a commercial copier.
6. Section 23(b)(2) prohibits a county employee from
knowingly or with reason to know using or attempting to use his
official position to secure for himself an unwarranted privilege
of substantial value not properly available to similarly situated
7. A public employee's use of public resources of
substantial value ($50 or more) for private purposes (not
otherwise authorized by law) amounts to the use of one's official
position to secure an unwarranted privilege of substantial value.
These resources include publicly provided stationery, office
supplies, utilities, telephones, office equipment, office space,
or other facilities. Also included is the use of time on the
8. By borrowing and attempting to use a county copy machine
for campaign purposes (as described above), Kennedy used and/or
attempted to use his official position to secure an unwarranted
privilege of substantial value, thereby violating s.23(b)(2).
In view of the foregoing violations of G.L. c. 268A by
Kennedy, 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 Kennedy:
(1) that Kennedy pay to the Commission the sum of five
hundred dollars ($500) as a civil penalty for violating
G.L. c. 268A, s.23(b)(2);
(2) that Kennedy waive all rights to contest the
findings of fact, conclusions of law and terms and
conditions contained in this Agreement in this or any
other related administrative or judicial proceedings to
which the Commission is or may be a party.
 In the City of Lowell, the Election Commission would
permit examination of the voting lists as "checked" at its office
during normal business hours, but would not provide a copy of the
list nor provide means for copying.
 According to these county employees, they both were
already volunteers in Kennedy's campaign.
 One county employee was on personal compensatory time.
The other's supervisor charged him with two hours compensatory
time when she found out what he had done that Friday morning.
 In May 1990, the County Commissioners issued a memo
warning all county employees about various restrictions on their
political activity, including that they could not use county copy
machines for campaign purposes.
 It is unclear to what extent Kennedy knew or had reason
to know that one county employee was on county time when he
helped with the copier on Friday morning. If Kennedy so knew or
had reason to know, this use of public employee time would also