Settlement In the Matter of Badi G. Foster

Date: 10/07/1980
Organization: State Ethics Commission
Docket Number: 134

Table of Contents

Disposition Agreement

This Agreement is entered into between the State Ethics Commission ("Commission") and Badi G. Foster ("Mr. Foster") pursuant to Section 11 of the Commission's Procedures Covering the Initiation and Conduct of Preliminary Inquiries and Investigations. The parties agree that upon its execution this Agreement shall constitute a final order of the Commission enforceable in the Superior Court of the Commonwealth.

On February 25, 1980, the Commission, pursuant to Section 4(a) of General Laws, Chapter 268A, initiated a Preliminary Inquiry into possible violations of the Conflict-of-Interest Law, Chapter 268A, involving Mr. Foster, a former Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

The Commission has concluded its investigation into Mr. Foster's involvement in the matters set forth herein and makes the following findings of fact, to which the parties hereto agree:

1. Mr. Foster was a full-time member of the faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Boston from November of 1972 until August 31, 1976. He was on a leave of absence from the University for the period September 1, 1976 to August 31, 1977, at which time he reassumed his faculty position on a 2/3's time basis.

2. Cedar Associates Incorporated, was formed in May 1975, as a "for-profit" corporation. Mr. Foster was the President and sole stockholder of the company. Its principal purpose was to provide professional consultant services in the field of minority education, minority employment and other related areas.

3. On March 6, 1975, Mr. Foster was selected by the State Department of Education ("DOE") to be a member of an Ad Hoc Committee to review proposed programs for disadvantaged 

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students. He served as a member from July 1, 1975 to June 30, 1976.

The responsibility and purpose of the members was to review grant proposals to determine their relevance to particular federal funding areas and the target population. Such grant proposals were approved or disapproved by DOE. However, grant proposals had to be reviewed by at least three Ad Hoc Committee members, who recommended approval, disapproval, or referral to another funding area. Members of the Ad Hoc Committee. who reviewed a proposal did not review the budget for the proposal, as they had no responsibility for review with respect to costs. Mr. Foster reviewed at least 12 program proposals and he recommended approval of each proposal that he reviewed. The review of a proposal by a member typically took about one half hour. As a member of this committee, Mr. Foster was a "special state employee" within the meaning of Section 1(o) of Chapter 268A.

4. In the month of July, 1975, while serving on the Ad Hoc Committee, Mr. Foster was one of three members who reviewed Project Number D15976, entitled "Vocational Counseling and Career Development Program" which was proposed by the Boston YWCA Cass Branch ("Boston YWCA"). After reviewing the proposal, Mr. Foster, as well as the other two readers, recommended to DOE that the project be approved. The Boston YWCA was subsequently awarded $76,000 by DOE, and began work on this grant in early 1976.

5. In or about August 1976, Melvin McCoy, Vice President of Cedar Associates, met an official of the Boston YWCA at a National Urban League Convention being held in Boston. They discussed programs of the Boston YWCA for disadvantaged youth, and the need for evaluation of the effectiveness of those programs.

On August 31,1976, Badi Foster and Melvin McCoy met with the Director of the Boston YWCA and proposed that Cedar Associates review and evaluate the programs developed under the above DOE grant.

6. On October 30, 1976, the Director of the YWCA requested permission from the DOE to transfer funds from various budget line items of the grant for the purpose of acquiring the assistance of Cedar Associates.

7. On December 7, 1976, Cedar Associates to perform a "formative and summative evaluation of the Vocational Counseling and Career Development Program." Cedar Associates received DOE grant funds totaling $9,213 for this evaluation, and submitted its final report on May 12,1977.

8. At the time that the contract between Cedar Associates and the Boston YWCA was executed, and during the period in which the evaluation was performed, Mr. Foster was no longer a member of the Ad Hoc Committee or the University of Massachusetts faculty and was, therefore, a "former state employee" within the meaning of Chapter 268A.

9. There is no evidence that Mr. Foster used his prior state positions to improperly secure this contract, or that at the time he recommended that DOE award the $76,000 grant to the Boston YWCA he intended to seek this contract, or that at the time that Cedar Associates entered this contract with the Boston YWCA he knew that said contract would violate the Conflict-of-Interest Law.

Based on the facts as set out in paragraphs 1-9 above, the

Commission has concluded, and the parties agree, that by Cedar Associates entering a contract to perform services under a grant which Mr. Foster reviewed, Mr. Foster violated Section 5(a) of Chapter 268A, which prohibits a former state employee from receiving compensation in relation to any matter in which the Commonwealth has a direct and substantial interest and in which he participated while a state employee.  

THEREFORE, The Commission has determined that the public interest would be served by the disposition of this matter without further enforcement proceedings on the basis of the following representations, terms and conditions hereby made and agreed to by Badi G. Foster:

1. That he is represented by Thomas G. Shapiro, Esq., 33 Broad St., Boston, and has been fully advised as to all matters relating to these proceedings and this Agreement;

2. That he cease and desist from entering into contracts on behalf of Cedar Associates in relation to any grant, contract or other particular matter in which he participated while a state employee;

3. That he pay to the State Ethics Commission the sum of $1,800.00 as a recoupment of the economic benefit directly or indirectly received by him under the contract between Cedar Associates and the Boston YWCA; which payment is to be made in accord with a schedule of payments set out in Appendix A of this Agreement and incorporated herein by reference;

4. That he pay to the State Ethics Commission the sum of $250.00 forthwith as civil penalty for violating Section 5(a) of Chapter 268A; and

5. That he waive all rights to contest the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and the terms and conditions contained in this Agreement, in this or in any related proceeding.

End Of Decision