"The tickets were not expected to generate favors." (Ambulance executive)
THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE ETHICS COMMISSION has levied fines against two fire chiefs for accepting free tickets to Boston Bruins games from an ambulance company that provides service to their communities.
Revere Fire Chief Eugene Doherty and now-retired Melrose Fire Chief John O'Brian were each given the tickets in 2010 by the Cataldo Ambulance Service which is contracted to provide the EMS in their towns.
Chief Doherty (RFD image)
Chief O'Brian accepted two tickets to one game and was fined $1,500. Chief Doherty was given two tickets each to two games and was fined $3,000 by the commission. Both men had direct roles in the awarding of ambulance contracts for their departments.
Chief O'Brian (Melrose Patch)
(In) September 2010, the City of Melrose awarded a three year EMS contract to Cataldo. O’Brien, as fire chief, was a member of the committee which reviewed the EMS contract bid proposals. In November 2010, Cataldo gave O’Brien two Boston Bruin premium club tickets, which O’Brien used to attend the November 17, 2010 game. The tickets had an approximate value of $350. In June 2010, Doherty, as fire chief, signed, along with the Revere Mayor, Purchasing Agent, and Auditor, a three year EMS services contract with Cataldo. Sometime in November 2010, Cataldo gave Doherty two Boston Bruin premium club tickets, which Doherty then gave to his son and his son’s friend to attend the game. The tickets had an approximate value of $350. In May 2011, Cataldo gave to Doherty two Boston Bruins premium club tickets to attend the May 23, 2011 playoff game. The tickets had an approximate value of $600.
Dennis Cataldo, vice president of Cataldo Ambulance, issued a statement to the press: "We are aware of the fines issued by the State Ethics Committee, Unfortunately, by the letter of the Law, the State determined that two individuals accepted an item, in this case sports tickets, which exceeded the allowable value of fifty dollars per year. In both cases, there were reasonable and considerable circumstances which led to the exchange of these items. It is important to note that at no time was it determine that anyone accepted these items as a payment or incentive to commit any unethical, immoral or favorable act. In June of this year, the State Ethics Committee terminated the investigation into our company, including me personally, without any findings, violations or further actions related to this matter."
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