- Karen L. Nober, Executive Director
Media Contact for Goshen Board of Selectmen member John Judd Cited for Conflict of Interest Law Violation
David Giannotti, Communications Division Chief
Requested that the town re-bid its sand contract and purchase 50% of the sand from his cousin's business
Boston, MA — The Ethics Commission approved a Disposition Agreement ("Agreement") in which Goshen ("Town") Board of Selectmen ("BOS") member John Judd ("Judd") admitted to violating G.L. c. 268A, the conflict of interest law, by requesting that the BOS re-bid the contract to purchase washed, screened sand, and to purchase sand from his cousin's business. Pursuant to the Agreement, Judd paid a $2,500 civil penalty and agreed to complete training on the conflict of interest law.
According to the Agreement, in August 2009, the Town participated in a cooperative purchasing arrangement with the Hampshire County Council of Governments to purchase 3,000 tons of washed, screened sand. The contract was put out to bid, and the lowest responsive bidder was awarded the contract. Judd's cousin, Francis Judd, owns George D. Judd & Sons, LLC ("Judd & Sons"), which submitted a bid that was rejected as non-responsive. At the October 12, 2010 BOS meeting, Judd requested that the town re-bid the contract to secure a better price, and he criticized the highway superintendent for not purchasing sand from Judd & Sons. At that meeting, Judd also presented a contract for the BOS's approval calling for the Town to purchase 50% of the Town's sand from Judd & Sons. The proposed contract was valued at approximately $13,500. Judd's attempt to secure a Town contract for his cousin was unsuccessful as the BOS did not approve or sign the contract.
Section 23(b)(2)(ii) of the conflict of interest law prohibits a municipal 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. According to the Agreement, Judd violated section 23(b)(2)(ii) by, as a BOS member, attempting to have the BOS purchase 50% of the Town's sand from Judd & Sons without following the standard procurement process.
"Public employees are prohibited by the conflict of interest law from using their official positions to circumvent contract bidding requirements in order to benefit themselves or their family," stated Executive Director Karen L. Nober.