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The Ethics Commission held its first meeting of 2010 on January 12, 2010

Ethics Commission Meeting January 12, 2010

At the 1st meeting of the Commission in 2010, the Commission issued the following advisory opinions::

A.O. 2010-1 to Frank T. Caprio, the General Treasurer of the State of Rhode Island, regarding the appropriate process for handling certain claims under the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program relating to the Station Nightclub fire.

A.O. 2010-2 to Alfred W. DiOrio, PLS, CPESC, a Hopkinton Planning Board member, who is also a professional land surveyor in private practice, opining that he he is not prohibited by the Code of Ethics from acting as an expert witness on behalf of a private client before the Hopkinton Zoning Board of Review.

A.O. 2010-3 to Danielle Coulter, a member of the Tiverton School Committee, regarding the limitations the Code of Ethics places on her if her spouse provides brief public comment during a School Committee workshop regarding merit pay for school personnel.

A.O. 2010-4 to Danielle Coulter, a member of the Tiverton School Committee, regarding what limitations, if any, the Code of Ethics places on her when: 1) the School Committee and the Budget Committee conduct joint meetings or workshops; and 2) the School Committee presents its proposed annual budget to the Budget Committee, given that her spouse is a member of the Tiverton Budget Committee.

A.O. 2010-5 Robert Coulter, a member of the Tiverton Budget Committee, regarding what limitations, if any, the Code of Ethics places on him when: 1) the School Committee and the Budget Committee conduct joint meetings or workshops; and 2) the School Committee presents its proposed annual budget to the Budget Committee, given that his spouse is a member of the Tiverton School Committee.

A.O. 2010-6 to W. Douglas Gilpin, Jr., FAIA, a member of the Block Island Historic District Commission, who is also an architect in private practice, opining that the Code of Ethics does not prohibit him from contracting with the Block Island Housing Board to design plans for the construction of an “affordable” winterized home.

A.O. 2010-7 to W. Douglas Gilpin, Jr., FAIA, a member of the Block Island Historic District Commission, who is also an architect in private practice, opining that the Code of Ethics does not prohibit him from representing a private client before the Historic District Commission, based on General Commission Advisory No. 8.

The Commission conducted a Review of Exemption for Abraham Kovoor, Ph.D., pursuant to the R.I. Public/Private Partnership Act.

The Commission approved an Informal Resolution and Settlement in the matter of In re: Melanie Turner, Complaint No. 2009-5.

The Commission made a finding of Probable Cause in the matter of In re: Donna Hayden, Complaint No. NF2009-7.

The Commission received a Status Update on the matter of: Joseph S. Larisa, Jr. v. Rhode Island Ethics Commission, Superior Court C.A. No. 08-7325.

The Commission received an update from Legal Counsel and had discussion regarding due process issues relative to:

a.) Complainant’s role in the complaint process.

b.) Right to jury trial in administrative proceedings.

c.) Initial determinations.

d.) Preliminary investigations.

The Commission had discussion of proposed General Commission Advisory (GCA) 2009- 3: Participation in Union Actions by Public Officials who are Union Members.

The Commission reviewed and had discussion of Staff research regarding state gift prohibitions.

Related links

Department or agency: Ethics Commission

Online: http://www.ethics.ri.gov/

Release date: 01-15-2010

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