- David A. Wilson, Executive Director
Media Contact for Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo Admits he Violated Conflict of Interest Law by Representing his Brother in Lawsuit
Gerry Tuoti, Public Information Officer
Boston, MA — Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo has admitted to violating the conflict of interest law by continuing to represent his brother in a civil lawsuit against his brother and the City of Boston after he became a City Councilor. Arroyo signed a Disposition Agreement in which he admitted to the violation and paid a $3,000 civil penalty.
Arroyo entered an appearance as an attorney on behalf of his brother in the civil lawsuit prior to becoming a City Councilor in January 2020. After being sworn into office, Arroyo did not withdraw from the case and instead continued to participate in it as an attorney, including in the deposition of a City of Boston employee.
Arroyo’s representation of his brother in the lawsuit involving the City of Boston while serving as a City Councilor violated the conflict of interest law’s prohibition against municipal employees, including elected officials, acting as agent or attorney for anyone other than the municipality in connection with matters in which the municipality is a party or has a direct and substantial interest. The law required Arroyo to cease acting as attorney for his brother in the lawsuit when he became a City Councilor. While an appointed municipal employee may, with the approval of their appointing authority, act as agent or attorney for their immediate family member in a matter involving the municipality, this exemption is not available to elected municipal employees like Arroyo.
The Enforcement Division of the State Ethics Commission contacted Arroyo twice in August 2022 regarding legal concerns raised by his representation of his brother in the lawsuit. A motion to withdraw from the lawsuit was filed on November 18, 2022, which was allowed on February 18, 2023, removing Arroyo’s name from the record.
The Commission encourages public employees to contact the Commission’s Legal Division at 617-371-9500 for free advice if they have any questions regarding how the conflict of interest law may apply to them.