For Immediate Release - June 21, 2007

Leominster Director of Inspections Edward Cataldo $3,300 for Completing Energy Code Audit Reports for Private Clients

$3,000 penalty, $300 forfeiture

The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission issued a Disposition Agreement in which Leominster Building Department Director of Inspections Edward Cataldo admitted violating the state's conflict of interest law and agreed to pay a fine of $3,300, made up of a $3,000 civil penalty and a $300 civil forfeiture.

According to the Disposition Agreement, Cataldo has a private business, Energy Plus. In 2001 and 2002, he advertised his private business through a flier taped to the Building Department front counter. The flier was also distributed to permit applicants. On six occasions, Cataldo produced energy code audit reports for private clients of his business. Cataldo's clients submitted the reports produced by Cataldo to the building department along with building permit applications. Such reports are required as part of the local building permit process and were reviewed by a building inspector prior to issuing a building permit. Cataldo earned $50 for each report. In one instance, Cataldo, as Director of Inspections, reviewed an energy code audit report that he had been paid privately to produce.

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 city has an interest. By receiving compensation from his clients for energy code audit reports that were then submitted with building permits, Cataldo violated this section of the law.

Section 19 of the conflict of interest law prohibits a municipal employee from officially participating in matters in which to his knowledge, he or a business organization in which he is serving as an officer, director, trustee, partner or employee has a financial interest. By reviewing the energy code audit report that he had been paid privately to produce, Cataldo violated § 19.

Section 23(b)(2) of the conflict law prohibits a public employee from using or attempting to use his position to secure for himself or others an unwarranted privilege of substantial value not properly available to similarly situated individuals. By using his position to advertise his private business, Cataldo violated§ 23(b)(2).

"The conflict of interest law was enacted to prohibit public officials from mixing their public duties with their private interests," said Executive Director Peter Sturges. "This includes using a public position to drum up business for a private company, reviewing matters in which the public official has an interest and attempting to serve 'two masters,' one private and the other one public."