Docket No. 190
In the Matter of Patrick F. Jordan
February 4, 1983
This disposition agreement ("agreement") is entered into
between the State Ethics Commission ("Commission") ad Patrick F.
Jordan ("Mr. Jordan") pursuant to Section 11 of the Commission's
Enforcement Procedures. The parties agree that this agreement
constitutes a consented to final order of the Commission
enforceable in the Superior Court pursuant to G.L. c. 258B, s.4(d).
On April 12,1982, the Commission initiated a preliminary
inquiry, pursuant to G.L. c. 258B, s.4(a), into possible violations
of the Conflict-of-Interest Law, G.L. c. 268A, involving Mr.
Jordan, a member of the Stoneham Board of Selectmen. The Commission
has concluded that preliminary inquiry and, on December 20,1982,
found reasonable cause to believe that Mr. Jordan has violated G.L.
c. 268A, s.3. The parties now agree to the following findings of
fact and conclusions of law:
1. Since May 1977, Mr. Jordan has been a member of the Board
of Selectmen for the Town of Stoneham (the "Board") and, as such,
at all times material to this agreement was a municipal employee
as defined in G.L. c. 268A, s.1(g).
2. As a selectman, Mr. Jordan considered and voted upon
applications for approval of site plans filed by owners and
developers of property located in Stoneham.
3. In January 1980, Mr. Jordan asked Simon Zaltman ("Mr.
Zaltman"), a real estate developer in Stoneham, if Mr. Zaltman knew
where Mr. Jordan might borrow $5,000. Mr. Zaltman arranged for Mr.
Jordan to borrow $5,000 on January 29, 1980 from Nicholas Gouliamas
("Mr. Gouliamas"). This loan was payable on demand and at an
interest rate of 13% it was personally guaranteed by Mr. Zaltman.
4. Mr. Jordan made the interest payments due Mr. Gouliamas
under the loan for the first 2 1/2 months. Thereafter, from
approximately April 1980 until June 1982, Mr. Zaltman made the
remaining interest payments owed by Mr. Jordan. On or about June
6, 1982, Mr. Zaltman paid Mr. Gouliamas $5,000 to discharge Mr.
Jordan's debt and received thereafter from Mr. and Mrs. Jordan a
note evidencing their promise to repay the $5,000 plus interest at
the rate of 13% from April 29,1980. No payments of either interest
or principal have been made on this note to date.
5. On December 13,1980, Mr. Zaltman made an unsecured loan of
$2,000 to Mr. Jordan, payable on demand and interest-free. To date,
Mr. Jordan has made no payments of either principal or interest on
6. On October 15,1981, Mr. Zaltman lent Mr. Jordan an
additional $2,000 payable on demand and interest-free. This loan
was later discharged when Mr. Zaltman withheld $2,000 in
commissions owed Mr. Jordan's wife for her work for Mr. Zaltman
selling townhouses in the Stoneham condominium development known
as Moseley Park.
7. During the period when Mr. Zaltman was making interest
payments to Mr. Gouliamas for Mr. Jordan, discharging Mr. Jordan's
$5,000 debt to Mr. Gouliamas, and making loans, interest-free, to
Mr. Jordan, Mr. Jordan was a selectman and had official dealings
with matters in which Mr. Zaltman had a substantial interest.
a. In August 1980, Mr. Zaltman agreed to sell Moseley
Park to another developer for $400,000, conditioned on Mr.
Zaltman's ability to secure site plan approval and other
permits and authorizations needed from the town. Under this
agreement, Mr. Zaltman retained exclusive rights to sell units
at the development for a commission of approximately $4,000
b. On October 6, 1980, Mr. Jordan voted to approve Mr.
Zaltman's site plan for the Moseley Park development which
provided for forty-seven townhouses.
c. On October 21,1980, Mr. Zaltman sold Moseley Park
under the August 1980 agreement and took back a $251,000 second
mortgage from the purchaser
d. On April 21, 1981. Mr. Jordan voted to approve Mr.
Zaltma's amended site plan for Moseley Park which increased
the number of townhouses to be built to fifty. As a result of
the approval of the amended site plan, Mr. Zaltman's potential
commissions on the project were increased by approximately
8. Section 3(b), G.L. c. 268A, provides in pertinent part that
a municipal employee, other than as provided by law for the proper
discharge of his official duty, shall not directly or indirectly
accept, receive or agree to receive anything of substantial value
for himself for or because of any official act or acts within his
official responsibility performed or to be performed by him.
9. By receiving from Mr. Zaltman items of substantial value
i.e., the guarantee and interest and principal payments on the
first loan and the interest-free second and third loans -- Mr.
Jordan violated section 3(b) because these items were given to Mr.
Jordan in view of his official duties as a member of the Stoneham
Board of Selectmen and his responsibilities for approving site
plans. As the Commission stated in In the Matter of George A.
Michael, Commission Adjudicatory Docket No. 137, Decision and Order,
p. 31 (September 28, 1981):
A public employee need not be impelled to wrongdoing as
a result of receiving a gift or gratuity of substantial value,
in order for a violation of section 3 to occur. Rather, the
gift may simply be a token of gratitude for a well-done job
or an attempt to foster goodwill. All that is required to
bring section 3 into play is a nexus between the motivation
for the gift and the employee's
public duties. If this connection exists, the gift is
prohibited. To allow otherwise would subject public employees
to a host of temptations which would undermine the impartial
performance of their duties, and permit multiple remuneration
for doing what employees are already obligated to do - a good
job. Sound public policy necessitates a flat prohibition since
the alternative would present unworkable burdens of proof. It
would be nearly impossible to prove the loss of an employee's
objectivity or to assign a motivation to his exercise of
discretion. in public credibility in government instructions
is to be fostered, constraints which are conducive to
reasoned, impartial performance of public functions are
necessary, and it is in this context that section 3 operates.
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
representations to which Mr. Jordan has agreed:
1. That he pay the Commission the sum of one thousand dollars
($1,000) forthwith a civil penalty for violating G.L. c. 288A,
s.3(b), because he received interest and principal payments and
interest-free loans for or because of his acts ad responsibilities
as a member of the Stoneham Board of Selectmen;
2. That he pay the Commission the sum of nine hundred dollars
($900) as a forfeiture of the economic advantage he gained -- that
is, the interest foregone by Mr. Zaltman-- as a result of this
violation of G.L. c. 268A, s.3(b);
3. That he refrain from participation in any matters in which
Mr. Zaltman has a financial interest coming before the Stoneham
Board of Selectmen while Mr. Jordan is a member until the
outstanding debt to Mr. Zaltman is repaid; and
4. That he waive all rights to contest the findings of fact,
conclusions of law and conditions contained in this agreement in
this or any related administrative or judicial proceedings.
End of Decision