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Public Employees who have Financial Interests in Multiple Public Contracts

Conflict of interest law restrictions on public employees holding more than one paid public position or having a financial interest in a vendor contract with a public agency.

A public employee generally may not have a financial interest in another public contract at the same level of government (state, county, city/town) as their public employer, including a second public job.  For example a state employee may generally not have a financial interest in another state contract or hold a second state job.  Similarly, a municipal employee may generally not have a financial interest in another municipal contract, or have a second municipal position.  This provision is intended to prevent public employees from having an "inside track" to further financial opportunities.

There are numerous exemptions to this restriction. Some exemptions apply only to special public employees. Please call the Ethics Commission's Legal Division at (617) 371-9500 for advice about a specific situation.

  • Example of violation : A paid state employee accepts paid employment with a second state agency.
     
  • Example of violation : A paid state employee buys a surplus computer from his agency.
     
  • Example of violation : A state employee wants to work for a non-profit that receives funding under a contract with the state. Unless she can satisfy the requirements of an exemption under Section 7, she cannot take the job.  Legal counsel to the town housing authority becomes the acting executive director of the authority, and is paid in both positions.
     
  • Example of violation : A selectman buys a surplus truck from the town DPW.
     
  • Example of violation: A full-time secretary for the board of health wants to have a second paid job working part-time for the town library. She will violate Section 20 unless she can meet the requirements of an exemption.
     
  • Example of violation : A city councilor wants to work for a non-profit that receives funding under a contract with her city. Unless she can satisfy the requirements of an exemption under Section 20, she cannot take the job.
     
  • Example of violation : A county employee accepts paid employment with a second county agency.
     
  • Example of violation : A county employee buys a surplus computer from his agency.
     
  • Example of violation : A county employee wants to work for a non-profit that receives funding under a contract with the county. Unless she can satisfy the requirements of an exemption under Section 14, she cannot take the job.
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