Ethics Commission Meeting September 28, 2010
At the 17th meeting of the Commission in 2010, the Commission issued the following advisory opinions:
A.O. 2010-45 to Carmino A. Paliotta, a Chief Distribution Officer for the Rhode Island Department of Natural Resources, opining that the Code of Ethics did not prohibit his brother's business from responding to certain DEM requests for bids, given that the petitioner had no involvement whatsoever with the bids or contracts.
A.O. 2010-46 to Robert Petit, a member of the Chariho Regional School Committee, opining that he is required to recuse from participating in the School Committee's discussion and voting relative to replacing school administrators longevity payments with a performance-based compensation plan, given that the petitioner's first cousin is one of the twenty-two (22) administrators that would be financially impacted by the decision.
A.O. 2010-47 to Michael Miller, the Town Solicitor for the Town of Middletown, opining that he must recuse from participating in the Zoning Board and Planning Board consideration of an application for a special use permit, given that one of his private clients (a "business associate" under the Code) has been retained to provide information and testimony before both boards in support of the permit application.
A.O. 2010-48 to Mark W. Gee, a Fire Commissioner for the East Greenwich Fire District, opining that the Code of Ethics does not prohibit him from also seeking election to the East Greenwich Town Council, but offering no opinion as to whether any other provision of law addresses or prohibits such simultaneous public service.
A.O. 2010-49 to Daniel W. Majcher, Esq., Deputy Executive Counsel to the Office of the Governor, opining that the Code of Ethics' "revolving door" provision does not prohibit him from seeking or accepting other state employment upon leaving his current position, given that he falls within the Code's exemption for those persons with a minimum of five (5) years of uninterrupted state service.
The Commission approved an Informal Resolution in the case of In re: Kevin Carter, Complaint Nos. 2009-2 and 2010-1. The Respondent, a member of the Board of Fire Commissioners for the Pascoag Fire District, admitted to multiple violations of the Code of Ethics relating to his entering into contracts to provide heating oil and to install boiler and HVAC systems for the Fire District, as well as his participation in Fire District's voting to approve payment to his business based on those contracts. The Commission imposed a civil penalty of eight thousand dollars ($8,000).