|Organization:||State Ethics Commission|
Settlement In the Matter of John Rogers, Jr.
This Disposition Agreement (Agreement) is entered into between the State Ethics Commission (Commission) and John Rogers, Jr. (Mr. Rogers) pursuant to Section 11 of the Commission's Enforcement Procedures. This Agreement constitutes a consented to final order of the Commission enforceable in Superior Court under G.L. c. 268B, 14(d).
On November 27, 1984, the Commission initiated a preliminary inquiry, pursuant to s. 4(a) of the conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A, involving Mr. Rogers, a member of the Fairhaven School Committee. The Commission concluded its inquiry into Mr. Rogers' involvement in the matters set forth herein, and on January 31, 1985 found reasonable cause to believe that Mr. Rogers violated G.L. c. 268A, s. 19. The parties now agree to the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:
1. Mr. Rogers has been an elected member of the Fairhaven School Committee since April, 1980. Between April, 1983 and April, 1984, Mr. Rogers served as its chairman. As a member of the school committee, Mr. Rogers is a municipal employee within the meaning of G.L. c. 268A, s. 1(g).
2. Mr. Rogers' wife, Margaret, is presently a first grade teacher in the Fairhaven School system. Prior to September, 1984, she was a kindergarten teacher at the Tripp and Anthony schools in Fairhaven.
3. Fairhaven school teachers are represented, for collective bargaining purposes, by the Fairhaven Educators' Association. The collective bargaining unit applicable to teachers is designated as "Unit A." At all times relevant to this Agreement, Margaret Rogers was a member of Unit A.
4. On several occasions during 1984, Mr. Rogers participated in discussions during the Fairhaven School Committee's executive sessions, relating to the Unit A 1984-1986 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
5. On September 19, 1984, Mr. Rogers voted, along with four of the five other school committee members, to ratify the Unit A 1984-1986 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
6. The 1984-1986 Collective Bargaining Agreement ratified on September 19, 1984 covered such areas as teachers' benefits and duties and the teaching load.
7. General Laws, c. 268A, s. 19 provides in pertinent part that a municipal employee shall not participate in a particular matter in which to his knowledge a member of his immediate family has a financial interest. By participating in discussions relating to, and voting to ratify, the Collective Bargaining Agreement of the bargaining unit of which his wife was a member, Mr. Rogers violated s. 19.
8. Mr. Rogers was on notice from town counsel opinions he had requested and received in 1981 and 1982, that he could not participate in discussions or votes on particular budgetary items which would affect his wife's financial interests as a teacher, such as teachers' compensation or other terms of employment.
WHEREFORE, 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:
1. Mr. Rogers will cease and desist from participating, as a school committee member, in discussions or votes relating to matters in which his wife has a financial interest; and
2. Mr. Rogers will pay to the State Ethics Commission the amount of $500 as a civil penalty for violating G.L. c. 268A, s. 19.