Docket No. 633
In the Matter of Patti Giuliano
July 10, 2001
The State Ethics Commission and Patti Giuliano enter into this
Disposition Agreement 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 October 20, 1999, the Commission initiated, pursuant to
G.L. c. 268B, s.40), a preliminary inquiry into possible violations
of the conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A, by Giuliano. The
Commission has concluded its inquiry and, on May 22, 2000, found
reasonable cause to believe that Giuliano violated G.L. c. 268A.
The Commission and Giuliano now agree to the following findings of
fact and conclusions of law:
Findings of Fact
1. At all times material to this matter, Giuliano was a member
of the Board of Registration of Chiropractors ("Board"). As such,
she was a state employee within the meaning of G.L. c. 268A, s. 1.
2. The Board is responsible for licensing chiropractors,
regulating their professional conduct, and taking disciplinary
action against those chiropractors who fail to meet the regulatory
standards. Board disciplinary action sometimes includes an
adjudicatory proceeding to determine whether to suspend or revoke
a chiropractor's license to practice.
3. At all times material to this matter, John Sullivan was a
Division of Registration ("DOR") investigator.
4. The DOR is an umbrella agency that provides legal,
investigative and administrative services to the 33 boards of
professional registration, one of which is the Board.
5. At all time material to this matter, Giuliano's husband,
Dr. Peter Kevorkian, was a practicing chiropractor.
6. In or about late 1997, Giuliano told DOR Investigator
Sullivan that she and her husband were being harassed by a patient
of Dr. Kevorkian.
7. The patient contacted the Board in early spring of 1998,
and began to discuss certain charges against Kevorkian with an
investigator and was threatening to file a formal complaint against
Kevorkian with the Board. The investigator immediately reported the
matter to the Board's general counsel. The matter was given special
assignment status, meaning potentially serious charges had been
made that could develop into a complaint. Giuliano maintains that
she was not aware of this action.
8. In February 1998, Giuliano and Kevorkian received a
telephone call from the patient threatening to file a formal
complaint against Kevorkian with the Board. Giuliano telephoned
Sullivan and informed him of the threat by the patient, the same
one by whom Giuliano and Kevorkian had indicated had been harassing
them. Giuliano and Sullivan discussed the investigative procedure
which would be followed if a complaint was eventually filed.
9. On each of two separate occasions, Giuliano made comments
to two board members while the complaint was pending or about to be
filed against her husband. On each occasion, Giuliano spoke
favorably about her husband and disparagingly about the
10. The patient filed a formal complaint with the Board on
April 8, 1998.
11. At a subsequent Board meeting, the chairman informed
Giuliano that comments by her concerning her husband's case were
inappropriate. Giuliano did not participate in and/or comment on
the case after this point.
Conclusions of Law
12. Section 4(c) of G.L. c. 268A prohibits a state employee
from acting as agent for anyone other than the Commonwealth or a
state agency in connection with any particular matter in which the
Commonwealth or state agency is a party or has a direct and
13. The initial inquiry and subsequent complaint concerning
Kevorkian were in effect requests for determinations. Therefore,
they were particular matters. The Board, a state agency hearing
the case, had a direct and substantial interest in the initial
inquiry because the charges had been reported to it and were
sufficiently serious to warrant special assignment status. And, of
course, the Board had a direct and substantial interest in the
formal complaint once it was filed. When Giuliano discussed the
investigative process with an investigator that could have been
assigned to the case and made comments to fellow Board members in
relation to the anticipated and/ or filed complaint on behalf of
her husband, she acted as agent for someone other than the
Commonwealth in connection with a particular matter in which the
Commonwealth was a party. Therefore, Giuliano violated G.L.c.268A,
14. Section 4 reflects the maxim that a person cannot serve
two masters. Whenever a state employee acts on behalf of private
interests in matters in which the state also has an interest,
loyalties are divided and there is the potential use of insider
information and favoritism, all at the expense of the state. In
this case, Giuliano's private actions concerning an anticipated or
ongoing sensitive investigation of her husband were in direct
conflict with her responsibilities as a member of the very Board
that would handle that 'investigation.
15. Giuliano cooperated with the Commission's investigation.
In view of the foregoing violation of G.L. c. 268A by
Giuliano, 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 Giuliano:
(1) that Giuliano pay to the Commission the sum of $1,000
as a civil penalty for for violating G.L. c. 268A, s.4(c);
(2) that Giuliano 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
 "Particular matter," any judicial or other proceeding,
application, submission, request for a ruling or other
determination, contract, claim, controversy, charge, accusation,
arrest, decision, determination, finding, but excluding enactment
of general legislation by the general court and petitions of
cities, towns, counties and districts for special laws related to
their governmental organizations, powers, duties, finances and
property. G.L. c. 268A, s.1(k).