For Immediate Release - November 15, 2006

Ludlow Department of Public Works Member Thomas E. Cislak Fined $5,400 for Doing Paving Work Requiring a DPW Permit

$3,000 penalty, $2,400 disgorgement

The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission issued a Disposition Agreement in which Ludlow Department of Public Works board member Thomas E. Cislak admitted violating the state's conflict of interest law and agreed to pay a fine of $5,400, made up of a $3,000 civil penalty and a $2,400 civil forfeiture.

According to the Disposition Agreement, Cislak violated G.L. c. 268A, § 17(a) by doing paving work requiring a DPW permit. Cislak's average profit for such work was $400 per project.

Section 17(a) of the conflict law prohibits a municipal employee from receiving compensation from anyone other than the town in relation to particular matters in which the town has an interest. By receiving compensation from his clients for paving work that required DPW permits, Cislak received compensation in connection with matters in which Ludlow had an interest.

"The conflict of interest law prohibits a municipal official from receiving compensation from private parties in connection with matters regulated by the town and, in particular, by the board on which he serves," said Executive Director Peter Sturges. "Such action trades on the municipal official's 'insider' status and undermines the public's confidence in government."