The Ethics Commission held its 8th meeting of 2011 on May 17, 2011.
The Commission issued the following advisory opinions:
A.O. 2011-32 to Steven G. O’Donnell, the Commissioner of the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety and Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, opining that the Code of Ethics requires him to recuse from decisions that impact his son’s finances or terms of employment with State Police, such as hiring, performance, evaluation, classification, promotion, transfer or discipline. Upon such recusal, the alternative chain of command proposed by the Petitioner is reasonable and sufficient to insulate him from apparent conflicts of interest.
A.O. 2011-33 to Mario P. Celico, a former Westerly Planning Board member, opining that he may appear before the Westerly Planning Board in order to seek a permit to install an additional sign at his business, based on a finding that the unique facts as represented justify application of the hardship exception as provided in Rhode Island General Laws § 36-14-5(e)(1).
In the matter of In re: John Winfiled, Jr., Complaint No. 2010-6, the Commission found that there was probable cause to believe that the Respondent violated the Code of Ethics. Accordingly, the case will proceed to a full adjudication on the merits.