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Opinion

Opinion EC-COI-82-113

Date: 08/19/1982
Organization: State Ethics Commission

May a special consultant for a state agency also be employed part-time as a law clerk with the District Attorney's office. 

Facts

You are a Special Consultant for a stare agency (ABC) where you work thirty-five (35) hours a week. You are also employed as a law clerk with a District Attorney's (DA) Office for which you conduct legal research and write briefs at night for fifteen (15) hours a week. You state that as an ABC employee you are not involved in any DA activities. Both positions are summer jobs which expire at the end of August, 1982.

Question

Whether you may continue your position with the DA's office while also employed at ABC.

Answer

Yes.

Discussion

As a Consultant for ABC you are a state employee for purposes of the conflict of interest law. Since you are not an elected official, and your employment is for less than 800 hours during the preceding 365 days, you are a special state employee under G.L. c. 268A, s.1(o)(2)(b) and are subject to the conflict of interest law in a less restrictive way.


Section 7 of G.L. c. 268A prohibits state employees from having a direct or indirect financial interest in a contract made by a state agency. Your contract with the DA's office would be such a contract and your compensation financial interest in it. Section 7(d) exempts from this prohibition a special state employee who does not participate [1] in or have official responsibility[2] for any activities of the contracting agency, and who files a statement with the Ethics Commission (EC) making full disclosure of his interest and the interests of his immediate family in the contract. Since as an ABC employee you are not involved in any DA activities, and you have filed a disclosure form with the EC, you are exempt from s.7. See e.g., EC-COI-81-147. The conflict of interest law, therefore, does not prohibit your employment by both ABC and the DA's office.

[1] For purposes of G.L. c. 268A, "participate" is defined as participate in agency action or in a particular matter personally and substantially as a state...employee, through approval, disapproval, decision, recommendation, the rendering of advice, investigation or otherwise. G.L. c. 268A, s.1(j).


[2] For purposes of G.L. c. 268A, "official responsibility" is defined as the direct administrative or operating authority, whether intermediate or final, and either exercisable alone or with others, and whether personal or through subordinates, to approve, disapprove or otherwise direct agency action. G.L. c. 268A, s.1(i).

End of Decision

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