Ethics Commission Dismisses Adjudicatory Hearing After Former MassDOT-MBTA Deputy Chief of Staff Lori Nelson Pays Civil Penalty
Paid $200 civil penalty for late filing her 2014 Statement of Financial Interests
The State Ethics Commission issued a Final Order (“Order”) to allow a motion to suspend proceedings, accept the Respondent’s payment of a civil penalty in the amount of $200 and dismiss the proceedings, concluding the adjudicatory hearing involving Lori Nelson, the former Deputy Chief of Staff for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation-Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (“MassDOT-MBTA”). According to the Order, Nelson paid a $200 civil penalty for failing to timely file her calendar year 2014 Statement of Financial Interests (“SFI”).
On October 20, 2015, the Commission’s Enforcement Division issued an Order to Show Cause (“OTSC”) alleging that Nelson violated G.L. c. 268B, the Financial Disclosure Law, by failing to file her 2014 SFI on time. Nelson served as Deputy Chief of Staff for MassDOT-MBTA in 2014, and, therefore, was required to file an SFI for calendar year 2014. Nelson did not file her SFI until the date the OTSC was issued. According to the Commission’s civil penalty schedule for late filers, Nelson owed a $2,500 civil penalty. Nelson is no longer employed at MassDOT-MBTA, and she represented to the Commission that a fine of $2,500 would pose an undue hardship. As stated in the Order, “The parties assert that the interests of justice, the parties and the Commission will be served by the acceptance of the $200 civil penalty.” The Commission dismissed the adjudicatory proceedings involving Nelson after receipt of her payment of $200.
This is the third instance in which Nelson paid a civil penalty for failing to timely file an SFI. She paid a $100 civil penalty for filing her 2012 SFI 2 days late and a $100 civil penalty for filing her 2013 SFI 8 days late.
The Financial Disclosure Law requires elected state and county officials, candidates for state office and state and county employees in designated “major policymaking positions” to annually disclose their financial interests and private business associations by filing an SFI with the Commission.