- David A. Wilson, Executive Director
David Giannotti, Communications Division Chief
Mr. Michienzi voted to approve a special permit for his commercial tenant
Boston, MA — The State Ethics Commission has approved a Disposition Agreement in which Vincent Michienzi, Sr., admits to violating the conflict of interest law by voting as a member of the Bourne Planning Board to approve a special permit for one of his commercial tenants. Under the agreement, Michienzi is paying a $5,000 civil penalty.
According to the agreement, Michienzi owns commercial property located at 111 Main Street in Bourne, which he leased to a commercial tenant to operate an antique store/flea market. In July 2012, Michienzi’s tenant filed a special permit application with the Planning Board to operate the antique store with a tent on the property. On January 10, 2013, the Planning Board approved the special permit, with Michienzi voting to approve the permit.
The conflict of interest law prohibits a public employee from acting officially in matters he knows affect his own financial interests, and from acting in a way which would cause a reasonable person to think that he acts with favoritism in performing his official duties. Michienzi violated the conflict of interest law by voting to approve his commercial tenant’s special permit application when he knew he had a financial interest in the matter. Michienzi also violated the conflict of interest law because his voting to approve the special permit for his tenant would cause a reasonable person to think that Michienzi acted with favoritism toward his tenant in performing his Planning Board duties.
The State Ethics Commission is charged with enforcing the conflict of interest law, General Laws chapter 268A. When the Commission’s five members vote to find that there is reasonable cause to believe that a public employee has violated the law, it can also authorize adjudicatory proceedings against the employee. The public employee can then enter into a public disposition agreement rather than exercise his right to a hearing.
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.