Docket No. 389
In the Matter of Robert St. John

October 18, 1990

DISPOSITION AGREEMENT

This Disposition Agreement (Agreement) is entered into between the State Ethics Commission (Commission) and Robert St. John (Mr. St. John) pursuant to Section 5 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, §4(j).

On November 21, 1988, the Commission initiated, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, §4(a), a preliminary inquiry into possible violations of the conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A, by Mr. St. John.  The Commission has concluded the inquiry and, on July 19, 1989, voted to find reasonable cause to believe that Mr. St. John violated G.L. c. 268A, §19, and to authorize adjudicatory proceedings.  On May 25, 1990, the Enforcement Division issued an Order to Show Cause pursuant to that vote.

The Commission and Mr. St. John now agree to the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:

1.  At all relevant times, Mr. St. John was employed as a wiring inspector for North Attleboro.  As such, Mr. St. John was a municipal employee as that term is defined in G.L. c. 268A. §1(g).

2.  Mr. St. John’s official duties as North Attleboro Wiring Inspector include the issuing of wiring permits for electrical work being done in the town, enforcing Section 3L of G.L. c. 143, which requires that wiring permits be obtained for all such electrical work, and inspecting electrical work performed in the town to insure its compliance with the Massachusetts electrical code, 527 CMR 12.00.

3.  Between 1985 and 1988, Mr. St. John owned and operated a private business, St. John Electric, which engaged in the installation of electrical wiring in residences and commercial buildings in North Attleboro and other towns.

4.  On the following dates, and at the places indicated, Mr. St. John, in his capacity as North Attleboro Wiring Inspector, knowingly allowed St. John Electric to perform electrical work without obtaining a permit:

a.  In 1985, for electrical work at lot 68, Mary Ann Way;

b.  In 1986, for lot 157 Virginia Avenue, lot 163 Oak Ridge Avenue, lot 270 Oak Ridge Avenue, and lot 64 Mary Ann Way.

5.  In 1987, Mr. St. John knowingly allowed St. John Electric to perform electrical work without obtaining a permit at the following locations:

a.  lot 48, Mary Ann Way;

b.  lot 1, Lyman Street;

c.  lot 149, Virginia Avenue;

d.  lot 155, Virginia Avenue;

e.  lot 150, Virginia Avenue;

f.  lot 161, Virginia Avenue;

g.  lot 26, Norton Road; and

h.  28 East Washington Street.

6.  Section 19 of G.L. c. 268A, except as permitted by paragraph (b)[1] prohibits a municipal employee from participating as such an employee in a particular matter in which to his knowledge he has a financial interest.

7.  Mr. St. John, by knowingly allowing St. John Electric, his private business, to perform electrical work without permits, as is set forth in paragraphs 4-5 above, and by doing so without notifying his appointing authority of the situation, participated in his official capacity in particular matters in which he had a financial interest, thereby violating G.L. c. 268A, §19.

8.  On the following dates and at the places indicated, Mr. St. John, in his capacity as North Attleboro Wiring Inspector, acted as is described regarding wiring installed by St. John Electric:

a.  September 29, 1985: conducted the final electrical inspection and signed the occupancy permit for Lot 161, John Rezza Drive;

b.  In 1985: conducted the final electrical inspection and signed the occupancy permit for Lot 68, Mary Ann Way;

c.  March 17, 1986: conducted the final electrical inspection and signed the occupancy permit for Lot 112, Virginia Avenue;

d.  April 16, 1987: conducted the final electrical inspection and signed the occupancy permit for Lot 152, Virginia Avenue;

e.  April 18, 1986: conducted the final electrical inspection and signed the occupancy permit for Lot 124, Virginia Avenue;

f.  October 26, 1989: conducted the final electrical inspection and signed the occupancy permit for Lot 157, Virginia Avenue;

g.  October 27, 1986: conducted the final electrical inspection and signed the occupancy permit for Lot 270 Oak Ridge Avenue;

h. October 30, 1986: conducted the final electrical inspection and signed the occupancy permit for Lot 121 Virginia Avenue;

i.  November 19, 1986: conducted the final electrical inspection and signed the occupancy permit for Lot 269 Oak Ridge Avenue;

j.  November 22, 1986: conducted the final electrical inspection and signed the occupancy permit for Lot 164 John Rezza Drive;

k.  January 16, 1987: conducted the final electrical inspection and signed the occupancy permit for Lot 48 Mary Ann Way;

l.  April 30, 1987: conducted temporary service inspections for Lots 107 and 109 John Rezza Drive;

m.  October 28, 1987: conducted the final inspections and signed the occupancy permits for each of the condominiums units at 364 East Washington Street;

n.  October, 1987: performed service and rough electrical inspections at lots 3A and 4A, John Dietsch Boulevard; thereafter, conducted the final electrical inspections and signed the occupancy permits for these lots;

o.  December 11, 1987: conducted the final electrical inspection and signed the occupancy permit for Lot 1 Lyman Street;

p.  In 1987: conducted the final electrical inspections and signed the occupancy permits for Lots 149, 150 and 155 Virginia Avenue;

q.  January 15, 1988: conducted the final electrical inspection and signed the occupancy permit for Lot 109 John Rezza Drive.

9.  By performing each of the inspections and signing the occupancy permits as enumerated in paragraph 8 a-q above, Mr. St. John participated in particular matters in which he had a financial interest, thereby violating G.L. c. 268A, §19.

In view of the foregoing violations of G.L. c. 268A, §19, 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 Mr. St. John:

1. that Mr. St. John pay to the Commission the sum of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) as a penalty for violating G.L. c. 268A, §19;

2. that Mr. St. John will act in conformance with the requirements of G.L. c. 268A, §19 in the future; and

3. that Mr. St. John waive all rights to contest the findings of fact, conclusions of law and terms and conditions contained in this agreement in any related administrative or judicial proceedings in which the Commission is or may be a party.

 

 



[1] None of those exemptions applies here.