Docket No.: 174


IN THE MATTER OF PATRICK RYAN


Appearing: Stephen P. Fauteux, Esq.: Counsel for Petitioner State Ethics Commission; Patrick Ryan, Esq.: pro se


Commissioners: Vorenberg, Ch.; Brickman, McLaughlin, Mulligan.


Date: January 12, 1983

DECISION AND ORDER

Page 127


I. Procedural History


The Petitioner filed an Order to Show Cause on September
30,1982 alleging that the Respondent, Patrick Ryan, had violated
M.G.L. c. 268B, s.5[1] by failing to file his Statement of
Financial Interests for 1981 (Statement) within ten days of
receiving from the Commission a Formal Notice of Delinquency.

Pursuant to notice, an adjudicatory hearing was conducted on
November 23, 1982 before Commissioner David Brickman, a duly
designated presiding officer. See, M.G.L. c. 268B, s.4(c). The
parties waived the filing of post-hearing briefs and oral
argument before the full Commission. In rendering this Decision
and Order, each participating member of the Commission has
considered the evidence and arguments presented by the parties.


II. Findings of Fact


1. The Respondent, Patrick Ryan, served as the executive
assistant to the Suffolk County Sheriff until August, 1981.

2. In December, 1981 the Respondent was designated by the
Suffolk County Sheriff as a person in a "major policy-making
position" for the year 1981 and was required to file a Statement
for 1981 on or before May 1, 1982.

3. The Respondent failed to file his 1981 Statement by May
1, 1982.

4. On or about May 25, 1982, the Respondent received from
the Commission a Formal Notice of Delinquency (Notice) requiring
him to file his Statement within ten days of receipt of the
Notice.

5. The Respondent failed to file his 1981 Statement within
ten days of receipt of the Notice.

6. The Commission initiated a preliminary inquiry on June
16, 1982 and thereafter authorized the initiation of adjudicatory
proceedings.

7. The Respondent filed his 1981 Statement on August 3,
1982, approximately seven weeks after the expiration of the ten-
day period contained in the Notice.

8. The Respondent explained to the Commission that his
failure to file a timely Statement was due to negligence and
inattentiveness and his preoccupation in setting up a law
practice.


III. Decision


The failure of a reporting person to file a Statement within
ten days after receiving a notice of delinquency constitutes a
violation of M.G.L. c. 268B, s.5. The elements necessary to
establish a G.L. c. 268B, s.5 violation are that: (1) the subject
was a public employee (as defined by the statute) during the
year in question; (2) the subject was notified in writing of his
delinquency and the possible penalties for failure to file a
statement; (3) the subject did not file a statement within ten
days of receiving notice. Inasmuch as the Respondent conceded at
the adjudicatory hearing that he had violated M.G.L. c. 268B, the
Commission concludes that the Respondent violated M.G.L. c. 268B,
s.5 by failing to file his 1981 Statement within ten days of
receiving a Notice from the Commission.

Page 128


IV. Sanction


Under G.L. c. 268B, s.4(d), the Commission may order an
individual who violates G.L. c. 268B to pay a civil penalty of
not more than $1,000 for each violation.[2] The Commission has
customarily assessed a civil fine of $250 in cases where an
individual files a Statement following the initiation of a
preliminary inquiry but prior to the conclusion of the
inquiry.[3] While the Commission does retain the discretion to
adjust a civil penalty in recognition of mitigating
circumstances, none of the factors warranting mitigation are
present in this case. In particular, the Respondent did not
demonstrate a serious, good faith effort to comply as
expeditiously and fully as possible after being put on notice of
the filing requirement. Compare, In the Matter of David
Kopelman, Commission Adjudicatory Docket No. 173 Decision and
Order January 12,1983).


V. Order


On the basis of the foregoing, the Commission concludes that
Patrick Ryan violated M.G.L. c. 268B, s.5. Pursuant to the
authority granted it by M.G.L. c. 268B, s.4(d), the Commission
here-by orders Mr. Ryan to pay a civil penalty of $250.

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[1] G.L. c. 268B. s.5 states in relevant part:
(c) Every public employee shall file a statement of
financial interests for the preceding calendar year with the
commission within ten days after becoming a public employee, on
or before May first of each year thereafter that such person is a
public employee and on or before May first of the year after such
person ceases to be a public employee...

Failure of a reporting person to file a statement of
financial interests within ten days after receiving notice as
provided in clause of section 1 of this chapter, or of the filing
of an incomplete statement of financial interests after receipt
of such a notice, is a violation of this chapter and the
commission may initiate appropriate proceedings pursuant to the
provisions of section 4 of this chapter.

[2] The maximum civil penalty has recently been increased to
$2,000. See, St. 1982. c. 612. s.16. effective March 29, 1983.

[3] See, Minutes of Commission Meeting. April 7,1980.

End Of Decision