Docket No. 621
In the Matter of Thomas D. Hackenson
June 27, 2001
The State Ethics Commission and Thomas D. Hackenson enter into
this Disposition Agreement pursuant to Section 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.4(j).
On October 20, 1999, pursuant to G.L. c. 26813, s.4(a), the
Commission initiated a preliminary inquiry into possible violations
of the conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A, by Hackenson. The
Commission has concluded its inquiry and, on September 19, 2000,
found reasonable cause to believe that Hackenson violated G.L. c.
268A, s. 19,
The Commission and Hackenson now agree to the following
findings of fact and conclusions of law:
I. Findings of Fact
1. At all times here relevant, Hackenson was the appointed
Mendon building inspector. As such, Hackenson was a municipal
employee as that term is defined in G.L. c. 268A, s. 1, and subject
to the provisions of the conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A.
2. As building inspector, Hackenson's responsibilities
included authorizing the issuance of building permits and
inspecting work performed pursuant to such permits.
3. Hackenson has a son, Thomas M. Hackenson, who is a member
of Hackenson's immediate family as that term is defined in G.L. c.
268A, s. 1. At all times here relevant, Thomas M. Hackenson
individually performed construction work for others for
4. In or about August 1996, Mendon resident Diane Rice
obtained a building permit from the Mendon building department to
construct an addition on her house at 61 Kinsley Lane in Mendon.
5. In 1998, Rice, acting as the general contractor on her own
project, hired subcontractors to do the framing and other work on
6. Among the people that Rice hired to do the framing on her
addition was Hackenson's son Thomas M. Hackenson, who is a member
of Hackenson's immediate family within the meaning of s. 19.
7. Rice paid Thomas M. Hackenson at least S 1,600 in
compensation for his labor on the framing work.
II. Conclusions of Law
8. The inspection determination regarding the framing work
performed pursuant to Rice's building permit for 61 Kinsley Lane
was a particular matter within the meaning of G.L. c. 268A, s. 1.
9. Hackenson participated as building inspector in the
above-described framing inspection by performing the inspection
himself Thus, Hackenson participated personally and substantially
as building inspector in the 61 Kinsley Lane framing inspection
10. Thomas M. Hackenson had a financial interest in the
inspection and approval of the framing work that he performed at 61
Kinsley Lane because Rice hired and paid Thomas to perform some of
the framing work.
11. When Hackenson performed the framing inspection at 61
Kinsley Lane, be knew that his son Thomas M. Hackenson had been
working at 61 Kinsley Lane, that his son had performed some of the
framing work that Hackenson was inspecting, and that Rice would pay
his son in due course for his framing work. Thus, Hackenson knew
that his son Thomas had a financial interest in the inspection and
approval of the framing work.
12. By inspecting and approving his son Thomas's work,
Hackenson officially participated in a particular matter in which
to his knowledge a member of his immediate family had a financial
interest. Therefore, Hackenson violated G.L. c. 268A, s. 19.
13. There is no evidence that Hackenson improperly favored his
son Thomas in regard to the framing inspection at 61 Kinsley Lane.
In view of the foregoing violations of GL. c. 268A by
Hackenson, 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 Hackenson:
(1) that Hackenson pay to the Commission the sum of $500 as a
civil penalty for violating G.L. c. 268A, s.19; and
(2) that Hackenson 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