For Immediate Release - June 14, 2006

Former DEP Employee Michael Rostkowski Fined $10,000 for Revolving Door Violations

The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission fined former Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Bureau of Waste Management Analyst Michael Rostkowski $10,000 for violating the state's conflict of interest law, M.G.L. c. 268A, by receiving compensation from Mass Environmental Associates (MEA) in connection with a Wilmington landfill project in which Rostkowski participated while he was a DEP analyst.

According to the Disposition Agreement, the owner of the Maple Meadow Landfill located in Wilmington and DEP entered into an agreement regarding the closing of the landfill. MEA was hired by the landfill owners to conduct the closure. As a DEP employee, Rostkowski assessed the landfill and recommended enforcement/investigative actions. Rostkowski left DEP in February 2001 and worked for MEA until April 2004. While working for MEA, Rostkowski monitored MEA employees and equipment at the landfill and made recommendations regarding storm water control measures.

Section 5(a) of the conflict law prohibits a public employee from acting as agent or attorney for or receiving compensation from a third party in connection with any particular matter in which the state is a party or has a direct and substantial interest and in which he participated as a state employee.

"While the so-called revolving door restrictions of the conflict of interest law don't prevent public officials bringing their skills and experience with them into the private sector, they do prohibit public officials from profiting from their participation in specific projects and decisions," said Executive Director Peter Sturges. "The Commission closely scrutinizes allegations of such profiteering and will impose significant penalties when a former state employee violates the law, thereby undercutting the public's rightful confidence in the government decision-making process."