For Immediate Release - August 07, 2007

North Attleborough Electrical Inspector Paul LaFratta Fined $3,000

For Approving Permit Applications Filed by his Business

The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission issued a Disposition Agreement in which North Attleborough Electrical Inspector Paul LaFratta admitted violating the state's conflict of interest law and agreed to pay a fine of $3,000 for approving six permit applications sought by LaFratta Electric, Inc., a company owned by LaFratta and his son Michael.

According to the Disposition Agreement, LaFratta and Michael applied for electrical permits to do private electrical work on six occasions in 2005 and 2006. LaFratta approved the applications. The Disposition Agreement states that the Commission is not aware of any evidence that Michael or LaFratta Electric would not have otherwise been entitled to have the applications approved, that LaFratta inspected or approved any of the electrical work performed by Michael or LaFratta Electric or that the electrical work performed by Michael or LaFratta Electric did not comply with applicable codes.

Section 19 of G.L. c. 268A prohibits a municipal employee from officially participating in matters in which to his knowledge he, his immediate family or a business in which he is serving as an owner or employee has a financial interest. By participating as an electrical inspector in approving the applications of his company, LaFratta Electric, Inc., and/or his son Michael, LaFratta participated in matters affecting their financial interests.

"The conflict of interest law requires inspectors to steer clear of matters in which they have private interests," said spokesperson Carol Carson. "This marks the eleventh time since 2000 that the Commission has fined municipal inspectors for their involvement in permits involving family members or private businesses with which they are associated."