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Selected Ethics Opinions

Summaries of Selected Ethics Advisory Opinions and Enforcement Actions

Massachusetts Retirement Boards are municipal agencies and as a result, board members and employees are subject to Chapter 268A of the General Laws. Because of the crucial importance of fiduciary duty, PERAC is posting the following summaries of advisory opinions and enforcement actions.

Selected State Ethics Advisory Opinions

  • 2000 Advisory Opinion 


  • 1998 Advisory Opinion 

    EC-COI-98-4  A member of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (MTA) Retirement Board, who was elected, as provided by statute, from among the current and retired employees of the MTA, may participate in his Board's determinations about whether to effect cost of living adjustments for retired members of the MTA Employees' Retirement System and their beneficiaries, as provided by statute, notwithstanding his personal financial interest, as a retiree-member, in such matters. 

  • 1994 Advisory Opinion 

    EC-COI-94-1  A staff member of the State Board of Retirement (Board) may seek election to the Board and may continue to hold his current full-time staff position if he is elected to the Board. If he is elected, he will not need a §7(e) exemption, as the Board's enabling statute requires that the elected member be a current or retirement member of the state retirement system. Thus, he would serve on the Board by virtue of his state position, which is analogous to an ex officio post. Additionally, the Board member must be an active participant in the retirement system, the enabling statute contemplates that he will participate in particular matters that affect all retirement system participants, including himself. Therefore §6 will not prohibit such participation.

  • 1993 Advisory Opinion 

    EC-COI-93-14  Commission re-affirms its conclusion that $50.00 is the threshold to be used by public employees in determining whether an item is of substantial value for purposes of G.L. c. 268A, §3 and §23.

  • 1992 Advisory Opinion 

    EC-COI-92-18  An elected County Retirement Board member may remain a Board member and continue private employment with an investment firm if he complies with the provisions of §§ 11, 12, 13 and 23.

    EC-COI-92-20  The superintendent of a public school system who serves on a computer company's users' advisory committee could not accept from the company payment of her travel, hotel and meal costs to attend at an advisory committee meeting. The superintendent had previously entered into contracts with the computer company on behalf of the school system. Section 3 would not prohibit receipt of travel and associated costs if the municipality had a by-law or charter provision regulating vendor paid travel.

  • 1989 Advisory Opinion 

    EC-COI-89-26  A former member of a committee which supervises investments for certain state agencies is prohibited by §5(b) from appearing for one year before any state agency in connection with an investment in an annuity contract over which he had official responsibility as a committee member, even if he had not previously participated in that matter.

Selected State Ethics Enforcement Actions