For Immediate Release - April 24, 2008

Commission Alleges Central Artery Contractor and State Plumbers and Gasfitters Inspector Violated the Conflict of Interest Law

The Ethics Commission's Enforcement Division, in three separate Orders to Show Cause, alleges that Central Artery contractor, P.J. Riley & Company, and its Executive Vice President Thomas E. Riley, Jr., repeatedly violated Section 3(a) of G.L. c. 268A, the state's conflict of interest law, by giving Boston Red Sox tickets to a Commonwealth plumbing and gasfitter senior inspector, Taylor Roth, while Roth issued permits for and conducted inspections of P.J. Riley's work. Roth is being prosecuted for violations of Sections 3(b), 23(b)(2) and 23(b)(3) of G. L. c. 268A, in connection with his receipt of the tickets. A public hearing will be scheduled within 90 days.

According to the Orders to Show Cause, every year from 2004 to 2006, Thomas Riley gave to Roth two tickets to Red Sox games, with a face value of $80.00 each, while P.J. Riley had plumbing and/or gas projects at the Dewey Square Ventilation Building and other sites that were or recently had been within Roth's jurisdiction.

Section 3(a) and 3(b) of the conflict of interest law prohibits private parties from giving, and public employees from receiving, anything of substantial value for or because of any official act performed or to be performed by such public employee. The Enforcement Division alleges that a Section 3 violation occurred each time that Thomas Riley gave and Roth received Red Sox tickets as a reward for permits that Roth had issued and/or inspections he had performed of P.J. Riley's work and/or to influence Roth's future performance as a senior inspector.

Section 23(b)(2) of the conflict law prohibits a public official from knowingly, or with reason to know, using his official position to secure for himself or others unwarranted privileges of substantial value, which are not properly available to similarly situated individuals. The Enforcement Division alleges that Roth used his official position as a senior inspector to secure Red Sox tickets worth $50.00 or more from Thomas Riley, while P.J. Riley had projects that were or recently had been within Roth's jurisdiction.

Section 23(b)(3) of the conflict law prohibits a public official from knowingly, or with reason to know, acting in a manner which would cause a reasonable person, having knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to conclude that anyone can improperly influence or unduly enjoy the public employee's favor in the performance of his official duties. The Enforcement Division alleges that Roth violated Section 23(b)(3) by issuing permits and conducting inspections of P.J. Riley's work while receiving Red Sox tickets from Thomas Riley.