The Ethics Commission held its 5th meeting of 2013 on April 23, 2013.
The Commission took the following actions:
Issued Advisory Opinion 2013-14 to the Retirement Board of the Employees' Retirement System of the State of Rhode Island ("Retirement Board"), opining that those members of the Retirement Board who hold leadership positions in an organization that initiated litigation against the Retirement Board are required to recuse from Retirement Board matters, including discussions and decision-making, relative to the litigation. However, those members of the Retirement Board who are either named as a defendant in an official capacity, or who were appointed to a public office by such a named defendant, are not required to recuse from matters related to the litigation.
Issued Advisory Opinion 2013-15 to James Bennett, the Director of Economic Development for the City of Providence, opining that the Code of Ethics does not prohibit the City of Providence from paying for the Petitioner's travel expenses relative to the economic development of the Port of Providence with funds donated to the City by ProvPort, the non-profit corporation that operates the Port of Providence.
Issued Advisory Opinion 2013-16 to Anthony Santilli, the Building and Zoning Official for the Town of Narragansett, opining that he may apply for a variance and a special use permit from the Narragansett Zoning Board of Review, based upon a finding of hardship pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-5(e)(1).
Held an adjudicative hearing in the matter of In re: Gordon Rogers, Complaint No. 2012-1. The Commission found, by a vote of 5 to 1, that the Respondent, Gordon Rogers, while a member of the Foster Town Council, represented himself before the Foster Town Council on April 12, 2012, in violation of R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-5(e) and imposed a fine of $250.
Made an Initial Determination in the matter In re: Tina Jackson, Complaint No. 2013-4, and unanimously voted to authorize a full investigation.