Doc. Type: Agreements
Parties: IN THE MATTER OF G. SHEPARD BINGHAM
Date: February 21, 1984
This disposition agreement (agreement) is entered into between
the State Ethics Commission (Commission) and G. Shepard Bingham
(Mr. Bingham) pursuant to s.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 25, 1983, the Commission initiated a preliminary
inquiry, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, s.4(a), into possible violations
of the conflict of interest law, G. L. c. 268A, involving Mr.
Bingham, a member of the Lynnfield Conservation Commission. The
Commission has concluded that preliminary inquiry and, on November
15, 1983, found reasonable cause to believe that Mr. Bingham
violated G.L. c. 268A, s.s.17(a) and 17(c). The parties now agree
to the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:
1. Mr. Bingham has been a member of the Lynnfield Conservation
Commission (Conservation Commission) since July, 1981. All members
of the Conservation Commission were previously classified as
special municipal employees pursuant to G.L. c. 268A, s.1(n).
2. At all times relevant hereto, Mr. Bingham was also an
attorney engaged in the private practice of law with an office in
Lynnfleld. During 1982 and 1983, Mr. Bingham provided professional
legal services to Rocco Botta, a private contractor and developer,
in connection with a residential subdivision located on Bryant
Street in Lynnfield (subdivision).
3. On March 23, 1982, Mr. Bingham appeared on behalf of Mr.
Botta, as his attorney, in connection with a public hearing before
the Conservation Commission relating to that subdivision. At that
time, Mr. Bingham excused himself from sitting as a member of the
Conservation Commission during those proceedings.
4. On February 15, 1983, Mr. Bingham represented Mr. Botta at
a meeting of the Conservation Commission. At that time, Mr. Bingham
requested that the Conservation Commission release certain lots
within a subdivision owned by Mr. Botta which was subject to a
prior Order of Conditions imposed by the Conservation Commission.
Mr. Bingham proposed, and the Conservation Commission accepted, the
posting of a performance bond by Mr. Botta to ensure that the work
required by the prior Order of Conditions would be completed. Mr.
Bingham abstained from participating as a member of the
Conservation Commission in that matter.
5. Mr. Bingham received compensation from Mr. Botta for his
professional services rendered as an attorney on behalf of Mr.
Botta in connection with the foregoing matters. That compensation
included Mr. Bingham's legal services in connection with the
foregoing appearances before the Conservation Commission in 1982
6. G.L. c. 268A, s.s.17(a) and 17(c) prohibit a special
municipal employee, otherwise than in the proper discharge of his
official duties, from receiving compensation or acting as attorney
for a private party in connection with any particular matter
in which his town has a direct and substantial interest, and (a) in
which he, as a special municipal employee, has at any time
participated in, or (b) which is or within one year has been the
subject of his official responsibility, or (c) which is pending in
the municipal agency in which he is now serving. Each of the
foregoing appearances by Mr. Bingham on behalf of Mr. Botta before
the Conservation Commission were matters which had been a subject
of Mr. Bingham's official responsibility as a member of the
Conservation Commission and which were pending in the municipal
agency in which Mr. Bingham served. By his actions set out in the
foregoing paragraphs, Mr. Bingham violated G.L. c. 268A, s.s.17(a)
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 terms
and conditions agreed to by Mr. Bingham:
1. That he, in the future, refrain from acting as attorney for
or receiving compensation from private parties in connection with
particular matters in which the town of Lynnfield has a direct and
substantial interest, prohibited by G.L. c. 268A, s.s.17(a) and
2. that he pay to the Commission a civil penalty in the amount
of $750 for violating G.L. c. 268A, s.s.17(a) and 17(c); and
3. that he waive all rights to contest the findings of fact,
conclusions of law and terms and conditions contained in this
agreement or any related administrative or judicial proceeding to
which the Commission is a party.
End Of Decision