Docket No. 480
In the Matter of Stanley Bates
December 8, 1993
This Disposition Agreement (Agreement) is entered into
between the State Ethics Commission (Commission) and Stanley
Bates (Bates) 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, s.
On October 19, 1993, 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
Bates. The Commission has concluded its inquiry and, on December
7, 1993, found reasonable cause to believe that Bates violated
G.L. c. 268A.
The Commission and Bates now agree to the following findings
of fact and conclusions of law:
1. Bates was, during the time relevant, the Town of Easton
Police Chief. As such, Bates was a municipal employee as that
term is defined in G.L. c. 268A, s. 1.
2. During the time relevant, Bates' son Gerry owned and
operated Eastern Sound & Security Company (Eastern Sound) located
in Easton. Eastern Sound is in the business of automobile window
tinting and selling and installing car accessories. Gerry also
sold, as an independent agent, cellular phones .
3. In 1992 and 1993, Bates, acting as police chief,
authorized and approved the purchase of and payment for $1,469
worth of goods and services for the town from Gerry .
4. The Commission has no evidence to suggest that Bates was
aware that his actions violated G.L. c. 268A when he participated
in the purchase of goods and services from his son .
5. Except as otherwise permitted by that section, 
General Laws c. 268A, s. 19 prohibits a municipal employee from
participating as such in a particular matter in which to his
knowledge he or an immediate family member has a financial
6. The decisions to purchase the goods and services on
behalf of the town were particular matters .
7. Because Bates made those purchasing and payment
decisions, he participated  in these particular matters.
8. Bates knew his son had a financial interest in those
particular matters because he stood to make a profit on each such
9. Therefore, by participating in the purchasing and payment
decisions as described above, Bates repeatedly participated in
particular matters as police chief in which to his knowledge his
son had a financial interest, thereby violating s. 19.
In view of the foregoing violations of G.L. c. 268A by
Bates, 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 Bates:
(1) that Bates pay to the Commission the sum of five hundred
dollars ($500) as a civil penalty for violating G.L. c.
268A, s. 19;
(2) that Bates will act in conformance with requirements of
G.L. c. 268A in his future conduct as a municipal employee;
(3) that Bates 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 party.
 Gerry received a $150 commission for each telephone
 Gerry (either independently or through Eastern Sound)
provided the following tinting, telephone and radio repair
services to the Easton Police Department or the town:
(a) October 8, 1992, $175.00 for window tinting;
(b) October 9, 1992, $175.00 for window tinting;
(c) November 2, 1992, $175.00 for window tinting;
(d) November 21, 1992, $75.00 for the labor involved in
removal and reinstallation of a car telephone;
(e) April 5, 1993, $180 for 3 cellular telephones;
(f) May 8, 1993, $40.00 for cellular telephone, battery and
(g) May 9, 1993, $169 for AM/FM Cassette ($99.00), mounting
kit ($10.00), antenna ($10.00) and labor ($50.00);
(h) May 9, 1993, $40.00 battery charger; and
(i) May 30, 1993, $440.00 for 3 bag phones (3 at $60.00 each
= $180) and 3 battery chargers (3 at $40.00 = $120.00), 1
mobile phone ($100.00) and 1 battery charger ($40.00).
 Ignorance of the law is no defense to a violation of
G.L. c. 268A. In re Doyle, 1980 SEC 11, 13. See also, Scola v.
Scola, 318 Mass. 1, 7 (1945).
 None of the exceptions applies.
 "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).