Docket No.: 198


Date: March 24, 1983


Page 149

This disposition agreement ("agreement") is entered into
between the State Ethics Commission ("Commission") and Dr. Robert
J. O'Brien ("Dr. O'Brien") 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 October 19,1982, the Commission initiated a preliminary
inquiry into whether Dr. O'Brien, chairman of the Holyoke
Water Commission, violated G.L. c. 268A by using employees of the Holyoke
Water Department ("department") to perform repair work on his home
during department working hours. The Commission concluded that
preliminary inquiry and, on January 11,1983, found reasonable cause
to believe that Dr. O'Brien violated G.L. c. 268A, s.23(d). The
parties now agree to the following findings of fact and conclusions
of law.

1. Dr, O'Brien was a member of the Holyoke Water Commission
from 1973 to August, 1982, serving as its chairman during 1982. The
Water Commission is comprised of 3 part-time members who oversee
the department's activities.

2. During the week of June 21, 1982, Dr. O'Brien contacted
John Kennedy, department assistant manager, and asked him to send
department employees to Dr. O'Brien's home to inspect a wooden deck
in order to advise Dr. O'Brien to its needed repair.

3. On June 28, 1982, in response to Dr. O'Brien's request, two
department employees met Dr. O'Brien at his home, inspected the
deck and prepared a list of materials necessary to make the

4. Following that inspection, two department employees picked
up the necessary materials in a city owned vehicle at a local
lumberyard, delivered those materials to Dr. O'Brien's home, and
made the necessary repairs during June 29,30 and part of July 1,
1982. All of those services were performed during normal department
working hours for which those department employees received wages
from the city of Holyoke. During the course of certain of those
repairs, Dr. O'Brien observed the employees making those repairs
and allowed them to continue. At no time did Dr. O'Brien request
that those repairs be performed during working hours.

5. Lumber and materials used in those repairs were paid for
by Dr. O'Brien to the lumberyard in the amount of $214.08.

6. Following discovery of the foregoing activities by another
member of the Water Commission, Dr. O'Brien resigned from the
Commission and promptly reimbursed the city $465.72 for the wages
paid those department employees while they were working at his

7. Section 23(d) of G.L c, 268A prohibits a municipal employee
form using his position to secure an unwarranted privilege for
himself or others.

8. By using his position as Water Commission chairman to
request that department employees inspect his property and make
necessary repairs, and by allowing those department employees to
make those repairs during normal working hours, their labor paid
by the city, Dr. O'Brien used his position to secure an unwarranted
privilege; therefore, he violated G.L. c 268A, s.23(d).

Based on the foregoing facts, 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 representations and terms agreed to by Dr. O'Brien:

1. that he pay to the Commission the sum of $2,000 forthwith
as a civil penalty for the following violations of G.L. c. 268A;

a. $1,000 for his conduct in requesting department
employees to inspect his property and make the necessary
repairs to it and;

b. $1,000 for his conduct in allowing department
employees to perform the necessary repairs during normal
working hours on June 29,30 and July 1,1982; and

2. that he waive all rights to contest the findings of fact,
conclusions of law and terms and conditions contained in this
agreement in this or any related administrative or judicial
proceeding to which the Commission is a party.

End Of Decision