For Immediate Release - November 14, 2006

Former Maynard Town Accountant Harry Gannon pays $25,000 Violating Conflict Law for Holding Second Position as Executive Director of the Maynard Retirement Board

$5,000 civil penalty and $20,000 civil forfeiture

Former Maynard Town Accountant Harry Gannon paid a total of $25,000, a $5,000 civil penalty and a $20,000 civil forfeiture, to the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission for violating the state's conflict of interest law, M.G.L. c. 268A, by simultaneously serving as the Executive Director of the Maynard Retirement Board.

According to the Disposition Agreement, in 1999 Gannon, serving ex officio as town accountant, participated in the Retirement Board's actions to create and fund the executive director position. Gannon was appointed executive director of the Maynard Retirement Board in 2000 at a salary of $12,000 per year. Gannon, who became Maynard's town accountant in 1985, previously administered the program as part of his duties as town accountant and received an extra $3,000 annually for the services he provided. Gannon served as both the paid town accountant and the paid retirement board executive director from September 2000 until December 31, 2002 when he retired as town accountant. He continues to serve as executive director of the Retirement Board.

Section 20 of the conflict law prohibits a municipal employee from having a financial interest in a contract made by the municipality. Gannon's paid appointment as executive director of the retirement board while he was already serving as the town accountant gave him an ongoing prohibited financial interest in a contract made by the town.

"Section 20 of the conflict of interest law was designed to prevent both the appearance and the reality of public employees having the 'inside track' toward getting additional contracts with their town," said Executive Director Peter Sturges. "The size of the penalty, which includes a substantial forfeiture of the gain accrued as a result of the conflict of interest, reflects the seriousness of the violation."