Docket No. 591
In the Matter of Sylvia Killion
Date: August 16, 1999
This Disposition Agreement ("Agreement") is entered into
between the State Ethics Commission ("Commission") and Sylvia
Killion ("Killion") 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.
On February 10, 1998, 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
Killion. The Commission has concluded its inquiry and, on September
23,1998, found reasonable cause to believe that Killion violated
G.L. c. 268A.
The Commission and Killion now agree to the following
findings of fact and conclusions of law:
1. Killion was, during the time here relevant, the
Department of Mental Health ("DMH") Southeastern ("SE") Area
Management Information Systems ("MIS") director. As such, Killion
was a state employee as that term is defined in G.L. c. 268A, s. 1.
2. As the DMH SE MIS director, Killion was responsible
for all the computer hardware and software issues in the region. In
particular, Killion supervised a wide area network ("WAN") covering
the entire region. Her office was in the Brockton Multi-Service
Center, however, she also visited the various outlying facilities
to deal with MIS issues.
3. Killion is a Bargaining Unit 6 employee. She is paid
on an hourly basis.
4. John P. Sullivan is the DMH SE Area director. As such,
Sullivan is responsible for all DMH personnel and facilities in
that region. Sullivan was Killion's supervisor and she reported
directly to him.
5. Sullivan and Killion did not know one another when she
transferred to DMH from the Executive Office of Administration&
Finance, but their close working relationship at DMH developed into
a close personal friendship extending outside the office. It
extended as well to their respective families. The friendship of
the families was known to others within the DMH SE Area office.
6. Sullivan's policy for the SE Area required full
justification for overtime requests and set specific criteria that
had to be met for each period of overtime requested.
7. Between February 11, 1996, and June 7, 1997, Sullivan
authorized Killion to work 528 hours of overtime, mostly in 10 hour
per week increments. Sullivan signed and authorized all 53 of
Killion's overtime slips as the program manager.[1/]
8. In FY 96 Killion's overtime pay rate was $33.53/hour.
In FY 97 her overtime pay rate was $38.94/ hour. Ten hours of
overtime each week meant an extra $3 89.40 each week in her check
or an extra $20,284.00 per year.
9. During this same period of time when Killion
individually received 678 hours of overtime, all other MIS staff
employees combined received a total of 60.5 hours.
10. Killion failed to work a significant number of the
overtime hours for which she received compensation. [2/]
11. Killion was authorized to work the following flextime
schedule: Monday through Wednesday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday
2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and six hours Friday at home[3/] In fact,
Killion usually arrived at work between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m. on
Monday through Wednesday, and between 3:30 and 4:00 p.m. on
Thursdays. Killion left work almost every Thursday night between
9:30 and 10:00 p.m.
12. Of the 1, 100 employees in the SE Area, less than 10
are authorized flextime. Of the people authorized flextime, Killion
is the only one al lowed to work at home.
13. Killion did not work a significant number of the
flextime hours for which she received compensation.
14. In April 1998, Killion resigned from her position.
15. Section 23(b)(2) G.L. c. 268A prohibits a municipal
employee from knowingly or with reason to know using or attempting
to use her position to obtain for herself or others an unwarranted
privilege of substantial value which is not properly available to
similarly situated individuals.
16. Killion used her position as MIS director to receive
compensation for overtime and flextime hours that she did not work.
17. This use of position resulted in Killion obtaining
the unwarranted privilege of receiving compensation for hours she
did not work.
18. The compensation she received for the hours not
worked exceeded $50. Therefore, the privilege was of substantial
19. The privilege which Killion received was not
available to similarly situated individuals.
20. Thus, by receiving $50 or more in compensation for
overtime and flextime hours that she did not work, Killion
knowingly used her MIS director position to obtain an unwarranted
privilege of substantial value not properly available to other
similarly situated individuals in violation of s.23(b)(2).
In view of the foregoing violations of G.L. c. 268A by
Killion, 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 Killion:
(1) that Killion pay to the Commission the sum of two
thousand dollars ($2,000) as a civil penalty for the
violation of G.L. c. 268A, s.23(b)(2); and
(2) that Killion 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.
[1/] DMH was only able to locate 53 overtime slips for Killion
for the period February 11, 1996 to June 7, 1997. These 53 slips
totaled 528 hours of overtime. The payroll records for this 69 week
period, however. indicate that Killion was paid for 678 hours of
[2/] Given the absence of accurate records, it is now
impossible to approximate how many of these hours were not worked.
[3/] Killion was not required to nor did she document the
flextime at home hours.
[4/] The Commission defines "substantial value" as anything
with a value of $50. See Commonwealth v. Famigletti, 4 Mass. App.
584 (1976), EC-COI-93-14.
End of Decision