- Karen L. Nober, Executive Director
Media Contact for Board of Registration in Pharmacy Board Member Michael Tocco Cited for Conflict of Interest Law Violations
David Giannotti, Communications Division Chief
Discussed a private client matter with the representative of a company while matters affecting the company were pending before the Board of Registration in Pharmacy
Boston, MA — The State Ethics Commission approved a Disposition Agreement ("Agreement") in which Division of Professional Licensure, Board of Registration in Pharmacy ("Board") member Michael Tocco ("Tocco") admitted to violating G.L. c. 268A, the conflict of interest law, by contacting a representative of Omnicare, a pharmaceutical provider, on behalf of an Omnicare client, while matters affecting Omnicare were pending before the Board. Pursuant to the Agreement, Tocco paid a $2,000 civil penalty.
According to the Agreement, Tocco is President of Integrated Pharmacy Solutions ("IPS"), a business that provides consulting services to hospitals and pharmacies. An IPS client is Northeast Rehab Hospital ("Northeast"), which operates a facility in Nashua, New Hampshire. Omnicare provides pharmaceutical products to Northeast. During the relevant time, Omnicare also had matters pending before the Board. In March 2010 during a seminar sponsored by the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, and again in August 2010, at the conclusion of a Board meeting, Tocco contacted the Omnicare compliance officer to request assistance with Northeast's contract with Omnicare, in an effort to have Omnicare change the contract provisions.
Section 23(b)(2)(ii) of the conflict of interest law prohibits a state employee from knowingly, or with reason to know, using or attempting to use his official position to secure for himself or others unwarranted privileges or exemptions which are of substantial value and which are not properly available to similarly situated individuals. The Agreement states that Tocco violated section 23(b)(2)(ii) by contacting Omnicare's compliance officer on two occasions on behalf of his client, Northeast, while Omnicare was subject to Tocco's regulatory authority as a Board member.
"Public employees are prohibited by the conflict of interest law from using their official positions, and any regulatory authority they have over businesses, in order to benefit themselves or business clients," stated Commission Chairman Charles B. Swartwood, III.