IN THE MATTER OF GEORGE CUNNINGHAM
Date: May 6, 1982
This Agreement is entered into between the State Ethics
Commission ("Commission") ad George Cunningham ("Mr. Cunningham")
pursuant to Section 11 of the Commission's Procedures Covering the
Initiation and Conduct of Preliminary Inquiries and Investigations.
The parties agree that upon its execution this Agreement shall
constitute a final order of the Commission, enforceable in the
Superior Court of the Commonwealth, pursuant to Section 4(d) of
G.L. c. 268B.
On November 10, 1981, the Commission, pursuant to s.4 of G.L.
c. 268B, initiated a Preliminary Inquiry into possible violations
of the Conflict of Interest Law, G.L. c. 268A, involving: (a) Mr.
Cunningham's role as a member of the Billerica Conservation
Commission ("BCC"), in the 1981 award of a
BCC contract to the J&G Construction Company; and (b) Mr.
Cunningham's financial interest in a construction company which may
have done subcontract work on this same BCC contract. The
Commission has concluded its Inquiry into Mr. Cunningham's
involvement in the matters set forth in this Agreement, and makes
the following findings of fact and conclusions of law to which the
parties hereto agree:
1. Mr. Cunningham was a member of the BCC from December, 1975,
to November 18, 1981, when he resigned from the position.
2. At all times relevant to this Agreement, Mr. Cunningham was
the owner of the Greenbriar Construction Company, a sole
3. On September 27, 1980, Mr. Cunningham married Caren
Carbone, who was at that time, and at all times relevant herein,
a partner in the J&G Construction Company (J&G). J&G was founded
in the Spring of 1980, and as of December 31,1980, had not entered
into any contracts under that name.
4. During the period from August 27, 1980, through March
4,1981, Mr. Cunningham participated in BCC discussions and
decisions relative to the award of a BCC contract to J&G for the
removal of sediment from the Nuttings Lake disposal basin. The
original contract was awarded to Middlesex Disposal Services, Inc.
Middlesex Disposal defaulted in the performance of its agreement
with BCC. On March 4, 1981, Mr. Cunningham moved, and the BCC voted
to award this contract to J&G. The BCC also decided at that meeting not to require J&G to immediately post a $10,000 cash bond as would
otherwise have been required.
5. Subsequent to the award of this BCC contract to J&G, Mr.
Cunningham acted on J&G's behalf to negotiate the rental by J&G of
trucks and other heavy equipment from Vinal Construction Company,
for use on the BCC contract. During the period from approximately
May 4 - June 19,1981, Mr. Cunningham was frequently at the job site
supervising the work for J&G and signing, on J&G's behalf, trucking
slips which acknowledged the number of loads of sediment removed
by Vinal's equipment from the site. Vinal's bills for the rental of
its equipment to J&G were sent to George Cunningham at his mailing
address in Billerica.
6. Also during the period of this contract, and commencing on
or about May 15, 1981, Greenbriar performed subcontract work on
this BCC contract at J&G's request. Payments totaling $5,387.77
were made by J&G to Greenbriar for this work.
7. On or about June 19, 1981, and continuing through July 14,
1981, Greenbriar subcontracted with J&G to remove gravel from the
Nuttings Lake basin. J&G had received permission from the BCC to
remove gravel from the basin floor in order to increase its
capacity. Pursuant to its agreement with J&G, Greenbriar removed
gravel from the Nuttings Lake basin and sold it to the Atom
Contracting Corporation (Atom) for $20,855. Greenbriar paid J&G
$5,000 and incurred substantial excavation and hauling expenses in
the removal of the gravel. The BCC was not advised by J&G of the
subcontract agreement with Greenbriar regarding the gravel.
8. By participating as a member of the BCC in the award of a
contract to J&G, at a time when his wife was a partner in that
company, Mr. Cunningham violated s.19 of G.L. c. 268A.
9. By performing work through his company, Greenbriar, on the
BCC contract, as a subcontractor to J&G, Mr. Cunningham had a
financial interest in a BCC contract in violation of s.20 of G.L.
WHEREFORE, the Commission has determined that the public
interest would be served by the disposition of this matter without
further enforcement proceedings brought on its behalf pursuant to
G.L. c. 268B, on the basis of the following terms and conditions
hereby made and agreed to by Mr. Cunninghham:
1. That Mr. Cunningham will pay to the State Ethics Commission
the sum of $2,000 as civil penalty for violating s.s.19 and 20 of
G.L. c. 268A; and
2. That Mr. Cunningham waives all rights to contest the
findings of fact and conclusions of law in this or any related
judicial or administrative proceedings in which the State Ethics
Commission is a party.
End Of Decision