• This page, Hanson Selectman Kenneth Mitchell, Sr. pays $5,000 Civil Penalty for Violating Conflict of Interest Law, is offered by
  • State Ethics Commission
Press Release

Press Release Hanson Selectman Kenneth Mitchell, Sr. pays $5,000 Civil Penalty for Violating Conflict of Interest Law

Mitchell authorized town payments to his private employer and represented his employer in a matter involving town
For immediate release:
11/18/2021
  • David A. Wilson, Executive Director

Media Contact for Hanson Selectman Kenneth Mitchell, Sr. pays $5,000 Civil Penalty for Violating Conflict of Interest Law

Gerry Tuoti, Public Information Officer

Boston, MAHanson Selectman Kenneth Mitchell, Sr. has paid a $5,000 civil penalty for violating the conflict of interest law by authorizing town payments to the tree service company he privately worked for, representing his private employer in a matter involving the town, and acting as a selectman to advance a proposal to remove trees on town land while knowing his private employer would likely be hired to do the work. Mitchell signed a Disposition Agreement in which he admitted to the violations and waived his right to a hearing.

Mitchell, a selectman since 2014, works privately as the general manager of Newcomb’s Tree Services LLC. From 2016 through 2019, Mitchell, as a selectman, signed 23 warrants authorizing town payments to Newcomb’s Tree Services for tree cutting and removal services. In 2019, when the Hanson Recreation Commission proposed a Town Meeting warrant article to remove trees on town-owned land, at an estimated cost of $10,000 to $20,000, Mitchell, as a selectman, moved and voted to place the article on a Special Town Meeting warrant. When another selectman moved to have the Special Town Meeting vote on the warrant article in the amount of $25,000, Mitchell seconded the motion. At that time, Mitchell knew the town would likely hire Newcomb’s Tree Services to do the work. Mitchell’s actions violated the conflict of interest law’s prohibition against municipal employees participating in matters in which they know they or their private employer have a financial interest.

Mitchell also violated another prohibition of the conflict of interest law in 2016 and 2017. In December 2016, the town asked Newcomb’s Tree Services to remove dead trees from a main road, which required access to private property. When the private property owner accused Newcomb’s Tree Services of damaging a waterline, Mitchell represented his private employer in communications with the property owner and the town. By doing so, Mitchell violated the conflict of interest law’s prohibition against public employees acting on behalf of someone other than the municipality in connection with a matter in which the municipality has a direct interest.

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.

###

Media Contact for Hanson Selectman Kenneth Mitchell, Sr. pays $5,000 Civil Penalty for Violating Conflict of Interest Law

State Ethics Commission 

The State Ethics Commission is an independent state agency that administers and enforces the provisions of the conflict of interest law and financial disclosure law.
Feedback