- David A. Wilson, Executive Director
Media Contact for Ethics Commission Issues Public Education Letter to Wayland High School Head Football Coach Scott Parseghian
David Giannotti, Communications Division Chief
Mr. Parseghian was involved in purchases of athletic apparel for Wayland High School teams, clubs and departments from his father’s businesses for over ten years
Boston, MA — The State Ethics Commission today issued a Public Education Letter to Scott Parseghian, the Wayland High School Head Football Coach. The letter resolves allegations that Mr. Parseghian violated the conflict of interest law by making purchases of athletic apparel for Wayland High School sports teams from his father’s businesses, and by representing those businesses in merchandise purchases by other Wayland High School teams, clubs and departments.
According to the letter, Mr. Parseghian has served as Wayland High School Head Football Coach for sixteen years, and was the school’s Assistant Principal between 2004 and 2016. From 2001 until 2015, Wayland High School made approximately $150,000 in purchases from Mr. Parseghian’s father’s athletic apparel businesses. Mr. Parseghian made forty-one of these purchases, totaling approximately $60,000. Mr. Parseghian also facilitated the purchase of merchandise from his father’s business by other Wayland High School staff members by taking orders, maintaining catalogs and merchandise samples in his office, and delivering the merchandise. Mr. Parseghian represented his father’s businesses in forty-six such purchases, also totaling approximately $60,000.
According to the letter, the Commission found reasonable cause to believe Mr. Parseghian violated the conflict of interest law in three ways. First, the conflict of interest law prohibits a municipal employee from acting as agent for anyone other than his municipal employer in any matter involving the employer. Here, the Town of Wayland had a direct and substantial interest in athletic apparel purchases by Wayland High School’s teams, club and departments, and Mr. Parseghian acted as agent for his father’s businesses in many of those purchases. Second, the conflict of interest law prohibits a municipal employee from participating as a municipal employee in matters affecting his or his immediate family member’s financial interest. Here, Mr. Parseghian participated as Head Football Coach in many team purchases from his father’s businesses. Third, the conflict of interest law prohibits a public employee from acting in a way that would cause a reasonable person to conclude he acts with undue favoritism in performing his official duties. Here, Mr. Parseghian’s involvement as a Wayland High School employee in the purchases from his father’s businesses would cause a reasonable person to conclude that he unduly favored his father in his purchasing decisions as Head Football Coach.
The Commission and Mr. Parseghian agreed to resolve this matter with the Public Education Letter. The Commission decided not to initiate adjudicatory proceedings against Mr. Parseghian because Wayland High School investigated the matter and imposed a financial penalty on him, and because Mr. Parseghian fully cooperated with the Commission’s investigation. Mr. Parseghian chose not to exercise his right to a hearing before the Commission.
The Commission encourages public employees to contact the Commission’s Legal Division at 617-963-9500 for free advice if they have any questions regarding how the conflict of interest law may apply to them.