For Immediate Release - August 03, 2005

Alleges Former Berkshire County Treasurer Peter Arlos Violated Conflict of Interest Law By Voting on His Own Salary Increase

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The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission's Enforcement Division issued an Order to Show Cause alleging that former Berkshire County Treasurer Peter Arlos violated the state's conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A, by voting on motions that would affect his compensation. A public hearing will be scheduled within 90 days.

According to the Order to Show Cause, Arlo, the elected Berkshire County treasurer from 1985 to 2002, served as the treasurer/custodian of the Berkshire County Retirement Board. In June 2000, the board discussed compensation increases for staff members. One board member made a motion to exclude Arlos from a proposed 3 percent increase. The motion failed by a 2-3 vote, with Arlos voting against not giving himself a raise. Arlos then voted with the majority to increase his compensation by 3 percent. Arlos received a total of $1,200 in additional compensation between June 2000 and December 2002.

Section 13 of the conflict law prohibits a county employee from officially participating in matters in which he has a financial interest.

The Commission has the authority to impose civil penalties of up to $2,000 per violation.