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The Ethics Commission held its 5th meeting of 2009 on March 24, 2009.

Ethics Commission Meeting March 24, 2009

At the 5th meeting of the Commission in 2009, the Commission issued the following advisory opinions:

A.O. 2009-16 to Brian P. Stern, Esq. the Chief of Staff for the Governor of the State of Rhode Island, opining that he is not prohibited by the Code of Ethics from seeking and accepting appointment to a seat on the Rhode Island Judiciary, given his current employment as the Governor’s Chief of Staff.

A.O. 2009-17 to Patricia A. Coyne-Fague, Chief Legal Counsel to the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, opining that she may simultaneously serve as a bail commissioner without running afoul of the Code of Ethics.

A.O. 2009-18 to Gary Mataronas, a member of the Little Compton Town Council, opining that he may appear before the Little Compton Zoning and Planning Boards regarding a special use permit for property that he owns, pursuant to the hardship exception found at R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-5(e)(1) .

A.O. 2009-19 to Danielle Coulter, a member of the Tiverton School Committee, opining that she may: 1) as a School Committee member, make a recommendation to the Tiverton Budget Committee regarding School Committee members’ stipends, given that she is not seeking an increase in compensation and that the School Committee budget is ratified at the Tiverton Financial Town meeting; and 2) participate as an elector in the Tiverton Financial Town meeting in matters regarding the School Committee budget, including an item regarding School Committee members’ stipends.

A.O. 2009-20 to Robert Coulter, a member of the Tiverton Budget Committee, opining that: 1) while he may participate in Budget Committee matters regarding the School Committee budget, he may not participate in discussion or vote regarding the line item for School Committee stipends, given that his wife is a School Committee member who receives a stipend for her service; and 2) that he may participate as an elector at the Tiverton Town Financial meeting in matters regarding the School Committee budget.

Discussion was had of Jason E. Ferrell v. Frank Caprio, Jr., et al., U.S. District Court C.A. No.08-378S, and William V. Irons v. The Rhode Island Ethics Commission, No. 2008-335-M.P. and 2009-01-M.P.

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