|Organization:||State Ethics Commission|
Decision In the Matter of Elizabeth Story- Disposition Agreement
The State Ethics Commission and Elizabeth Story ("Story") enter into this Disposition Agreement pursuant to Section 5 of the Commission's Enforcement Procedures. This Agreement constitutes a consented-to final order enforceable in the Superior Court, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, § 4(j).
The State Ethics Commission is authorized to enforce G.L. c. 268B, the Financial Disclosure Law, and in that regard to initiate and conduct adjudicatory proceedings. On October 16, 2009, the Commission found reasonable cause to believe that Story violated G.L. c. 268B, § 5, and authorized the initiation of adjudicatory proceedings.
The Commission and Story now agree to the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:
1. Story served as a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Fiscal Officer for more than 30 days in 2008. As a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Fiscal Officer, Story was a state employee as that term is defined in G.L. c. 268A, § 1.
2. In accordance with G.L. c. 268B and 930 CMR 2.00, Story's position of Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Fiscal Officer was designated as a major policy-making position for calendar year 2008. As such, Story was required to file a Statement of Financial Interests ("SFI") for calendar year 2008 by May 1, 2009, in accordance with G.L. c. 268B and 930 CMR 2.00.
3. Story was notified of her obligation to file an SFI for calendar year 2008.
4. Story did not file an SFI on or before May 1, 2009.
5. On May 4, 2009, the Commission sent by first class mail a Formal Notice of Lateness ("Notice") to Story. The Notice advised Story that her SFI had not been filed and was, therefore, delinquent. The Notice further advised Story that failure to file her 2008 SFI within 10 days of receipt of such Notice would result in the imposition of civil penalties. [The Commission allows three days for receipt of the Notice if sent by first class mail.] Therefore, the SFI was required to be filed by May 18, 2009.
6. Story did not file an SFI with the Commission until June 25, 2009.
7. Story's failure to file an SFI within 10 days of receiving the Notice was a violation of G.L. c. 268B, § 5.
8. General Laws c. 268B, § 4 authorizes the Commission to impose a civil penalty of up to $2,000 for each violation of c. 268B.  The Commission has adopted two schedules of penalties imposing fines for SFIs filed more than 10 days after the receipt of the Notice.
For first time late submission of an SFI:
1-10 days delinquent: $50
11-20 days delinquent: $100
21-30 days delinquent: $200
31 days or more: $500
For the repeated late submission of an SFI:
1-10 days delinquent: $100
11-20 days delinquent: $200
21-30 days delinquent: $400
31 days or more: $1000
9. This is the first time Story submitted her SFI late.
10. Story's SFI was more than 31 days late and based on the Commission's fine schedule for first time late submission of an SFI, the fine is $500.
In view of the foregoing violation of G.L. c. 268B, § 5 by Story, the Commission has determined that the public interest would be served by the disposition of this matter without further enforcement proceedings, based on the following terms and conditions agreed to by Story:
- that Story pay to the Commission the sum of $500 as a civil penalty for violating G.L. c. 268B, § 5; and
- that Story waive all rights to contest, in this or any other administrative or judicial proceeding to which the Commission is or may be a party, the findings of fact, conclusions of law and terms and conditions contained in this Agreement.