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News State Ethics Commission Warns Public Employees Not to Use Their Official Positions to Improperly Obtain COVID-19 Vaccinations

Conflict of interest law bars public employees from using their positions to get unwarranted special treatment in obtaining COVID-19 vaccinations
2/05/2021
  • David A. Wilson, Executive Director

Media Contact for State Ethics Commission Warns Public Employees Not to Use Their Official Positions to Improperly Obtain COVID-19 Vaccinations

Gerry Tuoti, Public Information Officer

Boston, MAThe State Ethics Commission reminds all state, county, and municipal employees that using their official positions to gain unwarranted early access to COVID-19 vaccinations for themselves or others may violate the conflict of interest law and could subject them to civil prosecution and penalties.

The conflict of interest law prohibits public employees from using their official positions or other public resources to obtain for themselves or others valuable privileges, benefits, or preferential treatment to which they are not properly entitled. Under current conditions in Massachusetts, vaccination against COVID-19 is a valuable benefit. Consequently, public employees are prohibited by law from using their official titles or the status, power or resources of their official positions to have themselves, their family members or others improperly moved ahead in line to receive COVID-19 vaccinations earlier than they would under the Commonwealth’s vaccine distribution plan.

Using one’s official position to obtain a valuable benefit to which one is not properly entitled may constitute a violation of the conflict of interest law potentially subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000.

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 State Ethics Commission Warns Public Employees Not to Use Their Official Positions to Improperly Obtain COVID-19 Vaccinations

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.
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