For Immediate Release - January 20, 2011

Ethics Commission's Enforcement Division Alleges that Two Former State Employees Employees Violated the Financial Disclosure Law

Failed to Timely File 2009 Financial Disclosure Statements

The Enforcement Division of the State Ethics Commission issued two Orders to Show Cause ("OTSC") alleging that former Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Assistant General Manager for Strategic Planning and Performance Robert Fortes ("Fortes") and former Executive Office of Health and Human Services Director of Planning and Control William Schmidt ("Schmidt") each violated General Laws Chapter 268B, the Financial Disclosure Law, by failing to timely file their respective Statement of Financial Interests ("SFIs") for calendar year 2009.

According to the OTSCs, Fortes and Schmidt were required to file their SFIs for 2009 by May 17, 2010. They failed to file their SFIs by that date. They were then each sent Formal Notices of Lateness notifying them that they had 10 days to file or they would be subject to civil penalties. Neither Fortes nor Schmidt filed within the 10 day grace period. Fortes did not file his SFI for 2009 until September 14, 2010, and Schmidt did not file his SFI for 2009 until July 26, 2010.

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 each year. Under the penalty schedule in effect for the filing of Calendar Year 2009 SFIs, the Commission can impose civil penalties of up to $1,000 for first-time late filers, and up to $10,000 for failure to file an SFI.

The Commission will schedule hearings on each matter within 90 days.