Docket No. 352
In the Matter of Robert Egan
February 10, 1988
This Disposition Agreement (Agreement) is entered into between
the State Ethics Commission (Commission) and Robert Egan (Mr. Egan)
pursuant to section 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(j).
On April 6, 1987, the Commission initiated a preliminary inquiry
into possible violations of the conflict of interest law, G.L. c.
268A, involving Mr. Egan, a former Natick Zoning Board of Appeals
member. The Commission concluded its inquiry and, on October 5,
1987, found reasonable cause to believe that Mr. Egan violated
G.L.c.268A,s.s.17 and 18. Pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, s.4 (c), the
Commission also authorized the initiation of an adjudicatory
proceeding to determine whether there had been a violation.
The parties now agree to the following findings of fact and
conclusions of law:
1. The Selectmen of the Town of Natick appointed Mr. Egan, an
architect who had been employed by John Sharratt Associates, Inc.
(Sharratt Associates) for l6 years, to Natick's Board of Zoning
Appeals (ZBA) in 1978. Mr. Egan served as a member of the ZBA and
as its Chairman until he resigned in 1985. He received no
remuneration for these services.
2. In July, 1984, the Zoning Board of Appeals members were
designated special municipal employees by the Board of Selectmen.
3. In or about August, 1985, Baseball Factory Trust (Trust)
asked Sharratt Associates to produce architectural drawings for the
rehabilitation of an old baseball factory located in the Town of
4. Mr. Egan expended approximately #50 hours on the project
before he left Sharratt Associates. He was compensated for that
work by Sharratt Associates as part of his regular salary.
5. On October 28, 1985, Sharratt Associates filed a Notice of
Appeal with the ZBA on behalf of the Trust from the decision of the
Inspector of Buildings withholding a special permit that the Trust
needed to construct
multi-family housing in the area where the baseball factory was
located. In order to be eligible for such a permit, the ZBA would
have to find that the Trust had made adequate provision for off-
street parking there.
6. Mr. Egan resigned his position with Sharratt Associates on
November 4, 1985. In order to compensate Mr. Egan for the fees that
they owed him, Sharratt Associates asked Mr. Egan to assume
responsibility for the baseball factory job that he had been
working on as well as other jobs that Sharratt Associates was
7. On November 6, 1985, Mr. Egan submitted a letter to the Board
of Selectmen, tendering his resignation from the Zoning Board of
Appeals, effective November 6, 1985." The Board of Selectmen voted
to accept Mr. Egan's resignation on November 18, 1985. Mr. Egan's
resignation was effective as of November 18, 1985 and any matters
initiated with the ZBA prior to that time were the subject of his
8. Mr. Egan did not act as a member of Natick's ZBA nor did he
participate as a ZBA member in any matter that was pending before
the ZBA after November 6, 1985.
9. On November 13, 1985, the ZBA held a hearing upon the appeal
filed by the Trust The developers, their attorney and Mr. Egan
appeared before the ZBA and presented plans and arguments in
support of the appeal that had been filed by the Trust. Mr. Egan
presented and explained the architectural plans and was compensated
for the appearance by the Trust.
10. On November 18, 1985, the Board of Selectmen sent a letter
to Mr. Egan advising him that they had voted to accept his
11. On November 20, 1985, Mr. Egan again appeared before the
ZBA and indicated that the Trust was in the process of negotiating
a lease for the property across the street from the baseball
factory that would provide additional parking spaces for use by the
development Mr. Egan further explained that the lease would likely
be for a two year period and that possible changes in the existing
retail uses of the building might negate the need for these
additional spaces in the future. On that evening the ZBA made
formal findings regarding the special permit application and these
were filed with the town clerk on December 5, 1985.
12. On December 9, 1985, Mr. Egan entered into a formal written
contract with the developers which provided for his architectural
services on the baseball factory project. Mr. Egan was compensated
through this contract for his appearances before the ZBA on
November 13 and November 20, 1985.
13. Section 17(a) of G.L. c. 268A prohibits a municipal employee
from, otherwise than as provided by law for the proper discharge
of official duties, directly or indirectly receiving or requesting
compensation from anyone other than the town in any particular
matter in which the town is a party or has a direct and substantial
14. Section 17(c) of G.L. c. 268A prohibits a municipal employee
from, otherwise than as provided by law for the proper discharge
of official duties, acting as agent for anyone in connection with
a particular matter in which the town is a party or has a direct
and substantial interest.
15. Section 17(a) and (c) apply to special municipal employees,
like Mr. Egan, only in relation to a particular matter (a) in which
he has at any time participated as a municipal employee, or (b)
which is or within one year has been the subject of his official
16. By receiving compensation from the Trust in relation to its
appeal heard at the November 13, 1985 ZBA meeting and by acting as
agent for the developers in connection with said appeal at that
meeting, Mr. Egan violated Section 17(a) and Section 17(c),
17. Section 18(b) prohibits a former municipal employee, within
one year after his last employment, from appearing personally
before an agency of the town as agent for anyone other than the
town in connection with any particular matter in which the town has
a direct and substantial interest and which was under his official
responsibility as a municipal employee at any time within two years
prior to the termination of his employment.
18. By acting as agent for the Trust before the ZBA on November
20, 1985 (2 days after his resignation was accepted by the Board
of Selectmen) in connection with the special permit application of
the Trust, Mr. Egan violated Section 18(b).
19. In view of the foregoing violations of G.L. c. 268A, s.s.17
and 18, 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 agreed to by Mr. Egan:
1. That he pay to the Commission the amount of one thousand
dollars ($1,000.00) as a civil penalty for his alleged violation
of G.L. c. 268A, s.s.17 and 18;
2. That he waive all rights to contest the findings of fact and
the terms and conditions proposed under this Agreement in this
or any related administrative or judicial civil proceeding in
which the Commission is a party.