Ethics Commission Meeting December 2, 2008
At the 21st meeting of the Commission in 2008, the Commission issued the following advisory opinions:
A.O. 2008-61 to Colonel Brenden P. Doherty, Commissioner of Public Safety and Superintendent of State Police, who also serves as a member of the Criminal Justice Policy Board, opining that he need not recuse from voting as a member of the Criminal Justice Policy Board to approve spending allocations performed by the Public Safety Grant Administration Office, notwithstanding the fact that that agency falls under the direction of the Commissioner of Public Safety.
A.O. 2008-62 to Sharon B. Rysk, a former social caseworker in the Long Term Care Unit within the Department of Human Services, opining that she is not prohibited from working as an independent contractor with an attorney whose practice consists of filing medical assistance applications on behalf of his clients with the Department of Human Services, notwithstanding the fact that she would be assisting the attorney with the preparation of the applications, provided that she does not have direct contact with, or represent the clients, the attorney, or anyone else, before the Department of Human Services for one year subsequent to her separation from public employment.
A.O. 2008-63 to Christopher Wilkens, a member of the Narragansett Town Council, opining that he is prohibited from voting on an amendment to the Narragansett Zoning Ordinance, given that he owns two properties within the district that is the subject of the amendment.
A.O. 2008-64 to Charles W. More, a member of the Richmond Planning Board and the Richmond Rural Preservation Trust, opining that he is not prohibited from simultaneously serving in both positions.
A.O. 2008-65 to James F. Berard, former Assistant Director of Infrastructure and Operations in the Division of Information Technology, and former Associate Director of Managment Information Systems in the Department of Corrections, opining that he is not, after one year of separation from state service, subject to the post-employment restrictions found in the Code of Ethics.
A.O. 2008-66 to Gerard A. Galvin, Esq., the Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Newport, who in his private capacity is an associate attorney at the law firm of Corcoran, Peckham, Hayes and Galvin, P.C., opining that while he would be prohibited, along with the other members of his firm, from representing private clients before the Newport Municipal Court, that the Code of Ethics does not prohibit the petitioner or other members of his firm from representing clients before other Newport boards and courts before which he does not represent the City as the Assistant City Solicitor, and over which he exercises no authority or control, such as the City Council, Zoning Board, Planning Board, Probate Court, and Board of Tax Appeal.
The Commission continued the matter of In re: Edward J. Moy,Complaint No. NF 2008-12 to the December 16, 2008 meeting.
Discussion was had of Jason E. Ferrell v. Frank Caprio, Jr., et al., U.S. District Court C.A. No.08-378S, William V. Irons v. Rhode Island Ethics Commission , Superior Court C.A. No. 07-6666, and Joseph S. Larisa, Jr. v. Rhode Island Ethics Commission, Superior Court C.A. No. 08-7325 .