For Immediate Release - December 05, 2007

Commission Alleges Sandwich Planning Board Member Julie C. Molloy Violated Conflict of Interest Law

The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission's Enforcement Division issued an Order to Show Cause alleging that Sandwich Planning Board member Julie C. Molloy violated the state's conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A, by acting as an attorney for a private client before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) regarding a special permit application in which she had participated as a Planning Board member. A public hearing will be scheduled within 90 days.

According to the Order to Show Cause, Molloy spoke in opposition to a special permit for the installation of two wind-turbines at a June 2006 Planning Board meeting. A week later, William and Angela LeBeau, who owned property abutting the site of the proposed wind turbine project, retained Molloy to act as their attorney in opposing the turbine project and paid her a $2,500 retainer. On the same day she was retained by the LeBeaus, Molloy appeared on their behalf before the ZBA and opposed the wind turbine permit. The ZBA approved the special permit application. Molloy then filed an appeal with the Barnstable Superior Court on behalf of the LeBeaus. Soon thereafter, the LeBeaus told Molloy that they no longer wished to pursue the matter. Molloy refunded $800 of their retainer and concluded her representation of them.

Section 17(a) prohibits a public employee from receiving compensation from anyone other than the town in relation to a particular matter in which the town is a party or has a direct and substantial interest. Section 17(c) of the conflict of interest law prohibits a public employee from acting as an agent or attorney for anyone other than the town in connection with a particular matter in which the town is a party or has a direct and substantial interest. By representing the LeBeaus for compensation in the wind turbine matter, Molloy violated G.L. c. 268A, § 17(a) and (c), the Order to Show Cause alleges.