For Immediate Release - July 25, 2007

Former Lowell Regional Water Utility Executive Director Edmund F. Tarmey Pays $2,500

For Certifying Performance of Contracts that Earned his Brother Sales Commissions

The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission approved a settlement in which former Lowell Regional Water Utility Executive Director Edmund F. Tarmey paid a penalty of $2,500 for violating the state's conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A, by acting on two contracts to purchase furniture from Allied Office Products (Allied), a company that employed his brother Leonard as a commissioned sales person. This resolution concludes the public hearing in this matter.

According to a Disposition Agreement, in 2001 and 2002 Allied sold office furniture to the Water Utility on two occasions. The total value of the furniture was approximately $26,000. Tarmey participated in the purchases by certifying Allied's performance of each contract. The certification was necessary for Allied to receive payment. Leonard earned commissions on both contracts.

Section 19 of the conflict of interest law prohibits a municipal employee from officially participating in matters in which to his knowledge an immediate family member has a financial interest. By certifying Allied's performance when he knew that his brother was Allied's commissioned sales representative for the contracts, Tarmey violated §19.

"The purpose of the conflict of interest law is to prevent conflicts or the appearance of impropriety that can arise whenever a public official's personal loyalty to a family member competes with the public interest that objective decisions be made," said Executive Director Peter Sturges.