December 1, 2009
The State Ethics Commission and Scott Lanzetta ("Lanzetta") 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. 268B, § 4(j).
On April 17, 2009, the Commission initiated, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, § 4(a), a preliminary inquiry into alleged violations by Lanzetta of G.L. c. 268A, the conflict of interest law. The Commission has concluded its inquiry and, on July 17, 2009, found reasonable cause to believe that Lanzetta repeatedly violated G.L. c. 268A, § 17(a).
The Commission and Lanzetta now agree to the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:
Findings of Fact
1. Lanzetta was an elected Milford Board of Sewer Commissioners ("BSC") member from April 2002 to April 2008. Lanzetta was paid an annual stipend of approximately $1,800 for his BSC service.
2. Lanzetta was a licensed drainlayer in Milford from 2005 through 2007. As a licensed drainlayer, Lanzetta was authorized to perform sewer work within Milford.
3. On February 11, 2005, Lanzetta incorporated Lanzetta Excavating, LLC ("Lanzetta Excavating") as a Massachusetts limited liability corporation. Lanzetta is the owner of the company.
Milford Sewer Work
4. When a Milford property owner seeks to connect (i.e., "tie-in") a building's sewer line to the town's sewer system, he must submit an application for a permit to the Sewer Department. The Sewer Department reviews the application and, if the application is approved, issues a permit for the connection. The connection is required to be performed under the supervision of an authorized Sewer Department inspector. If all work is performed correctly, final approval is provided by the inspector.
Private Sewer Work
5. Lanzetta and/or Lanzetta Excavating were the licensed drainlayer(s) on the following 17 Milford sewer projects:
a. Grant Street (Lot 201A) - 9-13-05
b. Cedar Street, Building C - 10-18-05
c. Cedar Street, Building D - 10-18-05
d. Maria Circle (Lot 3A) - 1-17-06
e. Maria Circle (Lot 3B) - 1-17-06
f. Maria Circle (Lot 4A) - 1-17-06
g. Maria Circle (Lot 4B) - 1-17-06
h. Maria Circle (Lot 5A) - 1-17-06
i. Maria Circle (Lot 5B) - 1-17-06
j. Sample Road (Lot 2) - 1-17-06
k. Maria Circle (Lot 8, Unit 2) - 4-11-06
l. Maria Circle (Lot 8, Unit 4) - 4-11-06
m. 22 Florence Street - 5-9-06
n. 24 Florence Street - 5-9-06
o. 11 Walnut Street (Lot 237B) - 11-1-06
p. 177 Central Street (Office) - 6-6-07
q. 177 Central Street (Warehouse) - 6-6-07
6. The owners of the above-listed properties applied to the Sewer Department for connection permits. The Sewer Department approved the applications and issued the permits.
7. Lanzetta performed the sewer connection work on the above-listed projects between 2005 and 2007.
8. The sewer connections performed by Lanzetta on the above-listed projects were performed under the supervision of Sewer Department inspectors and approved by the inspectors.
9. Lanzetta, either directly or through Lanzetta Excavating, received compensation from the owners of the above-listed properties for his sewer connection work. Lanzetta received between $1,000 and $5,000 per job, depending on the amount and difficulty of the work.
Conclusions of Law
10. As a Milford BSC member, Lanzetta was at all times relevant to this matter a municipal employee as defined in G.L. c. 268A, § 1(g).
Private Sewer Work
11. Section 17(a) prohibits a municipal employee, other than as provided by law for the proper discharge of his official duties, from requesting or receiving compensation from anyone other than the same municipality in relation to a particular matter in which that municipality is a party or has a direct and substantial interest.
12. The applications for the sewer connection permits, the decisions to issue the connection permits, the permits themselves, and the decisions to approve the work performed pursuant to the permits were particular matters.
13. The town of Milford had a direct and substantial interest in those particular matters.
14. The compensation Lanzetta received for performing the sewer connections on the above-listed projects was in relation to those particular matters.
15. Lanzetta's receipt of compensation for the sewer connections he performed on the above-listed projects was not provided by law for the proper discharge of his official duties.
16. Therefore, Lanzetta repeatedly violated § 17(a).
In view of the aforementioned violations of G.L. c. 268A by Lanzetta, the Commission has determined that the public interest would be served by the disposition of this matter without further enforcement proceedings, based on the following terms and conditions agreed to by Lanzetta:
(1) that Lanzetta pay to the Commission the sum of $5,000 as a civil penalty for repeatedly violating G.L. c. 268A, § 17(a); and,
(2) that Lanzetta waive all rights to contest, in this or any other administrative or judicial proceeding to which the Commission is or may be a party, the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and the terms and conditions contained in this Agreement.
End of Decision