In the Matter of Francis Marchand
July 12, 2007
This Disposition Agreement is entered into between the State Ethics Commission and Francis Marchand pursuant to Section 5 of the Commission's Enforcement Procedures. This Agreement constitutes a consented-to final order enforceable in Superior Court, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, s. 4(j).
On May 9, 2007, 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 Marchand. The Commission concluded its inquiry and, on June 13, 2007, found reasonable cause to believe that Marchand violated G.L. c. 268A.
The Commission and Marchand now agree to the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:
Findings of Fact
1. Marchand is the Westborough State Hospital ("Hospital") Director of Maintenance of Facilities and Engineering. As such, Marchand was, at all relevant times, a state employee as that term is defined in G.L. c. 268A, s.1(g).
2. In October 2006, the Hospital posted an opening for a carpenter position. The position pays approximately $33,000 per year.
3. There were several applicants for the position, including Marchand's brother-in-law (Marchand's wife's sister's husband).
4. Marchand participated in the hiring process by reviewing the resumes and serving on a five member panel that interviewed the candidates. Marchand participated in the panel's interviewing and grading of each candidate. Based on this process, Marchand's supervisor, who sat on the panel, recommended that the brother-in-law be hired. The brother-in-law was ultimately hired for the position.
5. Marchand did not disclose that one of the candidates was his brother-in-law.
Conclusions of Law
6. Section 23(b)(3)of G.L. c. 268A in relevant part prohibits a municipal official from, knowingly or with reason to know, acting in a manner which would cause a reasonable person, knowing all of the relevant facts, to conclude that anyone can improperly influence or unduly enjoy that person's favor in the performance of his official duties. This section further provides that it shall be unreasonable to so conclude if the municipal official has disclosed in writing to his appointing authority the facts which would otherwise lead to such a conclusion.
7. By participating in the hiring process where his brother-in-law was a candidate, Marchand knowingly or with reason to know acted in a manner which would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to conclude that his brother-in-law could unduly enjoy Marchand's favor in the performance of his official duties.
In view of the foregoing violation of G.L. c. 268A by Marchand, 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 Marchand:
(1) that Marchand pay to the Commission the sum of $1,000 as a civil penalty for violating G.L. c. 268A, s.23(b)(3);
(2) that Marchand 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.
STATE ETHICS COMMISSION
/s/Diane Meibaum, General Counsel
August 8, 2007
July 12, 2007
I, Francis Marchand, have personally read the above Disposition Agreement. I understand that it is a public document and that by signing it, I will have agreed to all of the terms and conditions therein including payment of $1,000.00 to the State Ethics Commission.
/s/Francis Marchand, Jr.
July 12, 2007
 In relevant part, s.19 of G.L. c. 268A prohibits a municipal employee from participating as such an employee in a particular matter in which, to his knowledge, an immediate family member has a financial interest. "Immediate family" is defined as the employee and his spouse, and their parents, children, brothers and sisters. Where the brother-in-law in the instant case is Marchand's wife's sister's husband, s. 19 is not applicable.