Ethics Commission Fines Former Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Fiscal Officer Elizabeth Story for Failing to Timely File Her Statement of Financial Interests for 2008
The State Ethics Commission (""Commission") has concluded an adjudicatory proceeding involving former Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Fiscal Officer Elizabeth Story ("Story") by approving a Disposition Agreement ("Agreement") in which Story admitted to violating G.L. c. 268B, the financial disclosure law, and by dismissing the adjudicatory hearing. Pursuant to the Agreement, Story paid a $500 civil penalty.
The adjudicatory hearing was initiated by the Commission's Enforcement Division by the filing of an Order to Show Cause ("OTSC") on February 17, 2010. The OTSC alleged that Story had failed to file her Statement of Financial Interests ("SFI") for calendar year 2008 within 10 days of receiving a Formal Notice of Lateness ("Notice").
According to the Agreement, Story was required to file her 2008 SFI by May 1, 2009. She failed to file her SFI by that date, and on May 4, 2009, she was sent a Notice advising her that she had 10 days to file or she would be subject to civil penalties. Story did not file within the 10 day period, and did not file her SFI for 2008 until June 25, 2009. The Commission has adopted a schedule of civil penalties for late filers and non-filers. The schedule calls for a $500 civil penalty for filing an SFI more than 30 days after the 10 day period following receipt of a Notice.
The financial disclosure law requires elected state and county officials, candidates for state office and "designated major policy makers" at the state and county level to annually disclose their financial interests and private business associations by filing an SFI with the Commission for the prior calendar year. The Commission can impose civil penalties for the failure to file an SFI and for the late filing of an SFI.