August 2012

In December 2008, an investigation by the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General was initiated based on information which alleged that, in 2007, Winthrop, MA Harbormaster Charles Famolare, III had improperly received two “finger pier” floats (small walkways attached to a larger dock), along with their installation, from the Boston Towing and Transportation Company (BTTC), East Boston, MA.  Famolare did not pay for the piers or their installation. BTTC also performed the cleaning of Famolare’s jet ski float for free.  At that time, BTTC had entered into a contract with the Town of Winthrop to build a pier in Winthrop Harbor. 

At the request of the State Ethics Commission, the results of the Inspector General’s investigation involving Famolare’s receipt of the finger piers and jet ski float cleaning were shared with that office.  The value of the finger piers was approximately $7,000.  The total cost of the contract between BTTC and Winthrop, based on the State Ethics investigation, was approximately $2,000,000.  The State Ethics Commission investigation further described that Famolare’s role in the project included acting in advisory and oversight capacities as liaison between the Town of Winthrop and the project engineer and/or BTTC.

On July 21, 2011, the State Ethics Commission issued an Order to Show Cause alleging that Famolare violated M.G.L. c. 268A, the conflict of interest law, in connection with his receipt of the piers. This action followed a two day adjudicatory hearing on April 24th and April 25th, 2012.

On August 16, 2012 the State Ethics Commission issued a Decision and Order finding that Famolare violated M.G.L. c. 268A, in connection with the receipt and installation of the finger piers from BTTC.  However, the Commission determined that the allegation that Famolare violated the conflict of interest law by receiving free cleaning of his jet ski float from BTTC was not proven.  The Commission ordered Famolare to pay a civil penalty of $2,000.

For more information see:

Inspector General's Office Report- Inspector General's Office Investigation Leads to State Ethics Commission Issuance of an Order to Show Cause Involving the Winthrop Harbormaster, July 2011

State Ethics Commission Press Release- Ethics Commission Imposes $2,000 Civil Penalty on Winthrop Harbormaster Charles Famolare, III for Conflict of Interest Law Violation