Ethics Commission Cites Former State Division of Labor Director Michael Byrnes for Financial Disclosure Law Violation
Pays $625 civil penalty for filing his 2011 Statement of Financial Interests 246 days late
The State Ethics Commission (“Commission”) concluded an adjudicatory proceeding involving former Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (“EOLWD”) Division of Labor Director Michael Byrnes (“Byrnes”) by approving a Disposition Agreement (“Agreement”) in which Byrnes admits that he violated G.L. c. 268B, the financial disclosure law, by failing to timely file his 2011 Statement of Financial Interests (“SFI”). Pursuant to the Agreement, Byrnes paid a $625 civil penalty. The Commission also approved a Joint Motion to Dismiss, which concluded the adjudicatory proceeding.
The adjudicatory proceeding was initiated by the Commission’s Enforcement Division, which filed an Order to Show Cause (“OTSC”) on March 12, 2013. The OTSC alleged that Byrnes, a Melrose resident, failed to file his SFI for calendar year 2011 within 10 days of receiving a Formal Notice of Lateness. Byrnes was required to file his 2011 SFI by May 1, 2012. He filed it 246 days late, on January 22, 2013. According to the Commission’s penalty schedule for late filers, Byrnes faced a possible civil penalty of $1,250. However, because Byrnes provided evidence of sufficient mitigating factors, the Commission reduced the civil penalty to $625.
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 disclose their financial interests and private business associations by filing an SFI with the Commission each year. Byrnes served in his former position of EOLWD Division of Labor Director, a designated major policy-making position, for thirty (30) days or more in calendar year 2011, and therefore was required to file an SFI for calendar year 2011 with the Commission.