State Employee definition legal opinions, G.L. c. 268A, § 1(q)

Legal opinions issued by the Ethics Commission on the definition of "state employee".
  • EC-COI-87-17

    Members of the DEQE Water Resources Management Advisory Committee are state employees.

  • EC-COI-88-25

    A full-time state court employee is prohibited under section 4(a) from accepting part-time employment with a private alcohol education program because the referrals of clients to the program would come from the state courts. Section 4(a) prohibits the employee's receipt of compensation in connection with matters in which the state has a direct and substantial interest.

  • EC-COI-89-18

    An employee of a private construction firm will not be considered a state or public employee if he performs advisory services for a private, non-profit corporation that was established to provide advice to the Boston business community regarding the Third Harbor Tunnel and Central Artery construction projects. If his construction company is hired to do planning and/or re-construction work on the project, the employee should contact the Commission for further advice.

  • EC-COI-89-20

    Regional Employment Board members are subject to the conflict of interest law, but the members are not required to file Statements of Financial Interests.

  • EC-COI-89-25

    An athletic coach employed by a state college may receive an honorarium from a college alumni association for legitimate speaking engagements outside of his regular work schedule and work responsibilities. In order for speaking engagements to be considered legitimate, they must be: formally scheduled on the agenda of the meeting or conference; scheduled in advance of the speaker's arrival at the meeting or conference; before an organization which would normally have outside speakers address them at such an event; and the speaking engagement must not be perfunctory, but should significantly contribute to the event, taking into account such factors as the length of the speech or presentation, the expected size of the audience, and the extent to which the speaker is providing substantive or unique information or viewpoints.

  • EC-COI-89-35

    Individuals who are independent consultants for a private corporation which contracts with a public entity may be deemed to be public employees.

  • EC-COI-90-07

    Members of the board of directors and employees of a trust fund created by a pension agreement between a union and a state agency to provide pension benefits to state employees are considered employees of a state agency pursuant to G.L. c. 268A, s. 1(p). 

    NOTE: This opinion was overturned by the SJC in MBTA Retirement Board v. State Ethics Commission, 414 Mass. 582 (1993)

  • EC-COI-90-16  pdf format of EC-COI-90-16

    A private law firm attorney who performs unpaid services for the District Attorney is a special state employee under G.L. c. 268A, section 1(o) and is subject to the conflict of interest law restrictions set forth in sections 4, 5, 6 and 23.



    The provision of s. 1(q) that prohibits certain engineering and environmental consultants from bidding on later contracts for the same construction project applies only to individuals who are otherwise "state employees" under G.L. c. 268A.

  • EC-COI-92-13

    Employees of a private consulting firm who have been expressly designated in a state contract to perform specific services are considered to be "state employees" for the purposes of G.L. c. 268A.

  • EC-COI-93-22

    Members of a Governor's Advisory Council are not considered "state employees" or "special state employees" for the purposes of the conflict of interest law. Members of the council principally serve to provide the Governor with outside viewpoints and advice, and do not perform tasks ordinarily expected of state employees.

  • EC-COI-99-7

    The principals of a general partnership which is a member of a company that has a contract with a state agency are special state employees for conflict of interest law purposes. The partners may receive compensation from or act as agent of attorney for a private corporation with respect to a development project because they did not participate in the project as state employees; it is not the subject of their official responsibility; and they served as state employees for less than 60 days in the relevant period of 365 days.


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