For Immediate Release - July 21, 2011

Ethics Commission's Enforcement Division Alleges Conflict of Interest Law Violations by Winthrop Harbormaster Charles Famolare, III

Received from a town contractor free finger piers plus installation, and free cleaning of his jet ski float at his private dock

The Ethics Commission's Enforcement Division today issued an Order to Show Cause (OTSC) alleging that Winthrop Harbormaster Charles Famolare, III ("Famolare") violated G.L. c. 268A, the conflict of interest law, by receiving at no charge two finger piers (small walkways attached to a larger dock), plus free installation, and free cleaning of Famolare's jet ski float, from the vendor contracted to build the $2 million town pier.

According to the OTSC, in October 2006, Boston Towing and Transportation ("Boston Towing") entered into a $2 million contract with the Town of Winthrop to build a pier in Winthrop Harbor. Famolare participated officially in the project by acting in an advisory, oversight and liaison capacity. In July 2007, personnel from Boston Towing and from Boston Forging and Welding ("Boston Welding") attached two finger piers to Famolare's private dock. Famolare had no private relationship with any of the Boston Towing or Boston Welding employees who did the work. In addition, in July 2007, Boston Towing employees scraped barnacles and mussels from Famolare's jet ski float at no charge. The value of the finger piers was approximately $3,500 each, while the installation of the finger piers to Famolare's dock was valued at approximately $3,600. The value of the work scraping Famolare's jet ski float was approximately $1,900.

Section 23(b)(2) of the conflict law prohibits a municipal employee from using his official position to secure for himself or others unwarranted privileges of substantial value not available to similarly situated individuals. As stated in the OTSC, Famolare violated section 23(b)(2) by receiving two finger piers, installation of the finger piers, and work performed on his jet ski float, all at no charge.

The Commission will schedule the matter for a public hearing within 90 days.