For Immediate Release - April 30, 2007

Commission Dismisses Matter Involving Former Department of Housing and Community Development Paralegal Amy J. Fripp

Fripp was charged with illegally purchasing an affordable housing unit

The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission concluded public proceedings against former Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Paralegal Amy J. Fripp by concluding that the Commission's Enforcement Division did not prove its case and ordering the matter dismissed.

In July 2003, Fripp, who was employed at the time as a paralegal at DHCD, purchased an affordable housing condominium unit in Lincoln pursuant to the Homeownership Opportunity Program (HOP). HOP is a DHCD program that assists low and moderate income households in buying affordable homes at a discounted price. As part of the purchase, Fripp signed a deed rider restricting the resale of the condominium, as required by HOP.

The Commission's Enforcement Division alleged in June 2005 that Fripp violated G.L. c. 268A, § 7 when she purchased the condominium pursuant to HOP while she was a DHCD employee. Section 7 generally prohibits a state employee from having a financial interest in a contract made by the state.

The Commission's Decision and Order concluded that the Enforcement Division did not prove that the deed rider was "a contract made by a state agency in which the commonwealth or a state agency is an interested party."

"While the Ethics Commission Enforcement Division is responsible for prosecuting alleged violations of the conflict of interest law, the five member Ethics Commission is an independent adjudicatory body that ultimately decides if a violation has occurred," said Executive Director Peter Sturges. "This case demonstrates that the members of the Commission carefully consider the evidence and reach their conclusions without bias or prejudgment."