Docket No. 464
In the Matter of Roland Seguin
April 9, 1993
This Disposition Agreement (Agreement) is entered into
between the State Ethics Commission (Commission) and Roland
Seguin (Mr. Seguin) pursuant to s. 5 of the Commission's
Procedures. This Agreement constitutes a consented to final order
enforceable in the Superior Court, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, s.
On February 23, 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 Mr.
Seguin. The Commission has concluded its inquiry and, on March
30, 1993, found reasonable cause to believe that Mr. Seguin
violated G.L. c. 268A.
The Commission and Mr. Seguin now agree to the following
findings of fact and conclusions of law:
1. Mr. Seguin was, during the time relevant, an elected
member of the Town of Fairhaven Tourism Committee. As such, Mr.
Seguin was a municipal employee as that term is defined in G.L.
c. 268A, s. 1.
2. The Fairhaven Tourism Committee (Committee) was
established by the Fairhaven Board of Selectmen in 1984 to
promote tourism in Fairhaven.
3. During the time here relevant, Mr. Seguin was a novelty
items salesperson. The companies Mr. Seguin represented sold
various items including commemorative plates. Mr. Seguin
received, on average, a 10% commission on any sales he made.
4. In 1984, the Committee was looking to raise enough
funds to create a map and brochure of the town. Mr. Seguin
proposed the Committee sell a series of commemorative plates to
raise the necessary funds.
5. Mr. Seguin, sometimes alone, and at times in
conjunction with another Committee member, made each decision to
purchase the plates and pay the bills on behalf of the Committee.
6. In each of the years 1984 through 1988 and in 1991, the
Committee purchased a total of approximately $6,000 in plates
from companies Mr. Seguin represented.
7. Mr. Seguin, as a salesperson for the companies, earned
approximately $600 in commissions on these sales.
8. 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 has a financial interest.
9. The decisions to purchase the plates on behalf of the
Committee were particular matters .
10. Because Mr. Seguin, either with another Committee
member or individually as a Committee member, made those
purchasing and payment decisions, he participated  in these
11. Mr. Seguin knew he had a financial interest in these
particular matters because he stood to make a 10% commission on
each such sale.
12. Therefore, by participating in the purchasing and
payment decisions as described above, Mr. Seguin repeatedly
participated in particular matters as a Committee member in which
to his knowledge he had a financial interest, thereby violating
13. In Spring 1992, the Fairhaven Selectmen removed Mr.
Seguin from the Fairhaven Tourism Committee.
14. The Commission has no evidence to suggest that Mr.
Seguin was aware that his actions violated G.L. c. 268A when he
participated in the commemorative plate purchases .
In view of the foregoing violations of G.L. c. 268A by Mr.
Seguin, 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. Seguin:
(1) that Mr. Seguin pay to the Commission the sum of seven
hundred and fifty dollars ($750) as a civil penalty for
violating G.L. c. 268A, s. 19;
(2) that Mr. Seguin disgorge the economic benefit he
received by violating G.L. c. 268A, s. 19, namely the $600
in commissions he earned; and
(3) that Mr. Seguin 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.
 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).
 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).