Opinion EC-COI-87-6

Date: 02/23/1987
Organization: State Ethics Commission

The chief executive officer of a company which has performed services for the campaign committee of the head of a state agency may accept employment with that agency.

Table of Contents


You are the chief executive officer of ABC, a custom imprinting
and embroidery business. In addition to private sector sales, ABC
has contracted with state agencies and candidates for municipal,
state and federal offices, including the campaign committee of a
current head of a state agency, DEF. You state that ABC no longer
bids with state agencies.

You have been offered employment to a full time position in the
office of DEF, an office which you previously served as an


Does G.L. c. 268A permit you to accept employment with DEF?


Yes, subject to certain limitations described below.


Once you begin employment with DEF, you will be a "state
employee" for the purposes of G.L. c. 268A. Nothing in G.L. c. 268A
inherently prohibits you from accepting employment with a state
official for whom you provided services during an election

Because ABC no longer contracts with state agencies, your
employment with DEF will not place you in violation of G.L. c.
268A, s.s.4 or 7. During your tenure as a state employee, ABC must
continue to refrain from contracting with state agencies,
otherwise, you may be in violation of G.L. c. 268A, s.7 which
prohibits you from having a financial interest in a contract made
by a state agency, and s.4, which prohibits you from either
accepting compensation from or acting as agent for ABC in
connection with any contract made by a state agency.

In carrying out your assignments for DEF, you may be called upon
to deal officially with state agencies or employees with whom ABC
has previously sought or performed work. Should you be given such
an assignment, you must avoid using your official position to
secure unwarranted privileges of substantial value to the state
agency or employee. G.L. c. 268A, s.23(b)(2). You must also avoid
conduct which creates a reasonable impression that your official
acts are unduly influenced by ABC's prior dealings with the agency
or employee. G.L. c. 268A, s.23(b)(3). To dispel any such
impression, you must disclose to the head of DEF the fact that ABC
has previously sought or performed work for a state agency with
whom you have official dealings as an employee of DEF. Following
disclosure, your appointing authority can determine whether
reassignment of the matter to another employee is warranted.

[1] The head of DEF is also a state employee under G.L. c. 268A.
Section 23(b)(2) prohibits his using his official position to
secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions of substantial value
for you. If you were unqualified to serve as an employee in DEF's
Office, then a serious question could be raised as to whether your
appointment resulted in an unwarranted privilege for you. Inasmuch
as you previously worked in DEF's Office for sixteen years,
however, it does not appear that your appointment would result in
an unwarranted privilege.

End Of Decision

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