The Ethics Commission held its 4th meeting of 2011 on March 8, 2011.
The Commission issued the following advisory opinions:
A.O. 2011-14 to Cynthia A. Joyce, a member of the Foster-Glocester Regional School Committee, opining that she is prohibited by the Code of Ethics from participating in contract negotiations between the School Committee and the Teachers’ Union, given that her husband is a member of the Teachers’ Union; however, she may participate in the School Committee’s decision to accept or reject a contract in its entirety once negotiated by others.
A.O. 2011-15 to Christopher W. Stanley, a member of the Warren Town Council, opining that the Code of Ethics does not prohibit him from: (1) participating in the appointment of John M. Jannitto to the Bristol County Water Authority, notwithstanding the fact that the he and Mr. Jannitto are both volunteer members of the Central Fire Company; (2) participating in the voting on line items in the Warren budget that relate to the Warren Fire Department, notwithstanding the fact that he is a member of the Central Fire Company.
A.O. 2011-16 to Elizabeth Kinnane, a member of the Tiverton Planning Board, opining that she may participate in and vote on the Planning Board’s review of a proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance to allow operation of landscaping businesses within certain zones of the Town of Tiverton, notwithstanding the fact that the Petitioner is a resident and property owner in one of the affected zoning districts and an abutter to another affected zoning district.
A.O. 2011-17 to Brett Pelletier, a member of the Tiverton Town Council, opining that he is prohibited by the Code of Ethics from participating in contract negotiations between the Town Council and the Police Officers’ Union, given that his father is a special officer for the Tiverton Police Department; however, he may participate in the Town Council’s decision to accept or reject a contract in its entirety once negotiated by others.
A.O. 2011-18 to Douglas C. Jeffrey, Chief of Staff for the Town of Johnston, opining that the Code of Ethics does not prohibit him from continuing to serve as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation.
A.O. 2011-19 to Charles J. Fogarty, the Director of the Department of Labor and Training (“DLT”), opining that the Code of Ethics requires his recusal from decisions that impact his family member’s personal finances or continued employment at DLT, and approving of an alternate chain of command regarding such decisions.
A.O. 2011-20 to Paul Gonsalves, a Senior Planner at the Rhode Island Department of Administration, Division of Planning, opining that the Code of Ethics does not prohibit him from working, in his private capacity, as a realtor.
A.O. 2011-21 to Gina M. Raimondo, the General Treasurer of the State of Rhode Island, opining that she has taken sufficient steps to avoid conflicts of interest under the Code of Ethics relative to her ties to a venture capital fund in which the State has made an investment.
The Commission also considered the advisory opinion request of Andrea M. Iannazzi, Esq, a Staff Attorney in the Office of Court Appointed Special Advocate at the Rhode Island Family Court. Due to a lack of five affirmative votes, no advisory opinion issued.
The Commission also considered the advisory opinion request of John T. Gannon, the Director of Administration for the City of Pawtucket. Due to a lack of five affirmative votes, no advisory opinion issued.
The Commission also considered the advisory opinion request of Patrick Kelley, a member of the Newport School Committee. Due to the fact that Mr. Kelley was unable to attend the hearing, the Commission continued the matter to a future meeting.
The Commission approved a second, 60-day extension of time to complete the investigation of In re: John Winfield, Jr., Complaint No. 2010-6.
In the matter of In re: Bradford G. Marthens, Complaint No. 2010-7, the Commission did not find probable cause to believe that the Respondent violated the Code of Ethics. The complaint was dismissed.