For Immediate Release - June 13, 2006

Former Clinton Building Inspector Peter Pender Fined $2,000

For Violating Conflict of Interest Law by Reviewing Construction Plans and Issuing a Permit for His Own Home

The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission fined former Clinton Building Inspector Peter Pender $2,000 for violating the state's conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A, by reviewing construction plans and issuing a building permit for property owned by Pender and his wife.

According to the Disposition Agreement, in October 2004, Pender's wife submitted to him a building permit application and associated construction plans for property owned by both of them. Pender reviewed the plans to determine that the estimated construction costs were reasonable, calculated the building permit fee to be $672 based on the estimated $84,000 in construction costs, reviewed the plans for code compliance and issued a building permit.

Section 19 prohibits a municipal employee from officially participating in matters in which to his knowledge he, his immediate family or a business in which he is serving as a director has a financial interest. By participating in these matters, Pender violated G.L. c. 268A, § 19.

"It is an obvious conflict of interest for a building inspector to review estimated construction costs for his own home, calculate fees, and issue permits," said Executive Director Peter Sturges. "Since building inspectors are responsible for reviewing building permits to ensure structural quality and integrity, such conduct also puts the public at risk."