For Immediate Release - August 02, 2008

Hingham Recreation Commissioner Thomas Campbell Fined $2,000

Violated Conflict of Interest Law by Requesting Extra Work for his Daughter

Hingham Recreation Commissioner Thomas Campbell admitted violating the state's conflict of interest law by repeatedly requesting that his daughter, a part-time seasonal employee of the Recreation Commission, be given additional hours. Campbell paid a civil penalty of $2,000.

According to the Disposition Agreement, between April 2004 and early 2005, Campbell asked Hingham Recreation Program Coordinator Ted Carroll on a number of occasions if he had any additional hours to give Campbell's daughter. Carroll gave Campbell's daughter an additional weekly shift as a result of Campbell's requests. Carroll would not have given her additional work had Campbell not used his official position to ask him to do so. Campbell's daughter was paid $7.85 per hour and earned a total of approximately $1,715 while employed by the Recreation Commission.

Section 19 prohibits a municipal employee from officially participating in matters in which to his knowledge his immediate family has a financial interest. 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 asking Carroll if he had additional hours to give to his daughter, Campbell violated G.L. c. 268A, §§ 19 and 23(b)(2).

"An elected official is prohibited from asking an employee to take actions that will financially benefit a family member," said spokesperson Carol Carson. "Such a request by a superior to a subordinate is inherently coercive."