Docket No. 544
In the Matter of Paul Enis
Date: March 11, 1996
This Disposition Agreement ("Agreement") is entered into
between the State Ethics Commission ("Commission") and Paul Enis
("Enis") pursuant to s.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,
On September 13, 1995, the Commission initiated, pursuant to
G.L. c. 268B, s.4(a), a preliminary inquiry into possible
violations of the conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A, by Enis.
The Commission has concluded its inquiry and, on November 15, 1995,
found reasonable cause to believe that Enis violated G.L. c. 268A.
The Commission and Enis now agree to the following findings of
fact and conclusions of law:
1. The Dracut Water Supply District ("District") provides
water service for the Town of Dracut. Policy and management
decisions are made at annual district meetings and are carried out
by the Dracut Water Commission, a board consisting of three elected
water commissioners, through a superintendent appointed by the
Dracut Water Commission.
2. At all relevant times, Enis was an elected member of the
Dracut Water Commission. As such, Enis was a municipal employee as
that term is defined in G.L. c. 268A, s.1(g).
3. Enis has a son named Tom. Between 1989 and January 1995,
Tom worked for the District. Tom worked part-time during the
school year and occasionally full-time during summer and school
breaks. His responsibilities included reading water meters,
physical labor and general office help. There was no employment
application or job posting for the position filled by Tom.
4. Tom was hired to work for the District and during this
time Enis was a member of the board involved with the hiring and
supervision of District employees. As such, Enis participated in
the hiring and supervision of his son.
5. The District paid Tom between $7.50 and $9.00 an hour.
During the five year period, Tom earned approximately $30,000.
6. Tom ceased working for the District in January 1995.
7. Section 19 of G.L. c. 268A, except as permitted by
paragraph (b) of that section, prohibits a municipal employee from
participating as such an employee in a particular matter in which
to his knowledge he or an immediate family member has a financial
interest. None of the exceptions contained in s.19(b) apply in
8. Hiring decisions and determinations arising from or
relating to day-to-day supervision of workers are particular matters.
9. Enis participated as water commissioner by hiring and
supervising his son's work for the Water District.
10. Tom, as a potential employee, had a financial interest in
being hired and in the subsequent supervision of that position.
Enis knew of his son's financial interest at the time he
participated as a Dracut Water Commissioner, in the hiring and
subsequent supervision, of his son.
11. Accordingly, by participating as a Dracut Water
Commission member in the hiring and supervision of his son, Enis
participated in his official capacity in a particular matter in
which he knew an immediate family member had a financial interest,
thereby violating G.L. c. 268A, s.19.
12. Enis cooperated with the Commission's investigation.
In view of the foregoing violations of G.L. c. 268A by Enis,
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 Enis:
(1) that Enis pay to the Commission the sum of one thousand
dollars ($1,000.00) as a civil penalty for his course of
conduct in violation of G.L. c. 268A, s.19 as stated above;
(2) that Enis will act in conformance with the requirements
of G.L. c. 268A, s.19 in the future; and
(3) that Enis 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
 The District consists of about 90% of the Town of Dracut
 "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).
 "Participate," participate in agency action or in a
particular matter personally and substantially as a state, county
or municipal employee, through approval, disapproval, decision,
recommendation, the rendering of advice, investigation or
otherwise. G.L. c. 268A, s.1(j).
End of Decision