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  • PART IV CRIMES, PUNISHMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS IN CRIMINAL CASES
  • TITLE I CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
  • CHAPTER 268A CONDUCT OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES
  • Section 4 Other compensation; offer, gift, receipt or request; acting as agent or attorney for other than state; legislators; special state employees

Section 4. (a) No state employee shall otherwise than as provided by law for the proper discharge of official duties, directly or indirectly receive or request compensation from anyone other than the commonwealth or a state agency, in relation to any particular matter in which the commonwealth or a state agency is a party or has a direct and substantial interest.

(b) No person shall knowingly, otherwise than as provided by law for the proper discharge of official duties, directly or indirectly give, promise or offer such compensation.

(c) No state employee shall, otherwise than in the proper discharge of his official duties, act as agent or attorney for anyone other than the commonwealth or a state agency for prosecuting any claim against the commonwealth or a state agency, or as agent or attorney for anyone in connection with any particular matter in which the commonwealth or a state agency is a party or has a direct and substantial interest.

Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years, or in a jail or house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years, or both.

Neither a member of the general court nor a member of the executive council shall be subject to paragraphs (a) or (c). However, no member of the general court or executive council shall personally appear for any compensation other than his legislative or executive council salary before any state agency, unless:

(1) the particular matter before the state agency is ministerial in nature; or

(2) the appearance is before a court of the commonwealth; or

(3) the appearance is in a quasi-judicial proceeding.

For the purposes of this paragraph, ministerial functions include, but are not limited to, the filing or amendment of: tax returns, applications for permits or licenses, incorporation papers, or other documents. For the purposes of this paragraph, a proceeding shall be considered quasi-judicial if:

(1) the action of the state agency is adjudicatory in nature; and

(2) the action of the state agency in appealable to the courts; and

(3) both sides are entitled to representation by counsel and such counsel is neither the attorney general nor the counsel for the state agency conducting the proceeding.

A special state employee shall be subject to paragraphs (a) and (c) only in relation to a particular matter (a) in which he has at any time participated as a state employee, or (b) which is or within one year has been a subject of his official responsibility, or (c) which is pending in the state agency in which he is serving. Clause (c) of the preceding sentence shall not apply in the case of a special state employee who serves on no more than sixty days during any period of three hundred and sixty-five consecutive days.

This section shall not prevent a state employee from taking uncompensated action, not inconsistent with the faithful performance of his duties, to aid or assist any person who is the subject of disciplinary or other personnel administration proceedings with respect to those proceedings.

This section shall not prevent a state employee, including a special employee, from acting, with or without compensation, as agent or attorney for or otherwise aiding or assisting members of his immediate family or any person for whom he is serving as guardian, executor, administrator, trustee or other personal fiduciary except in those matters in which he has participated or which are the subject of his official responsibility; provided, that the state official responsible for appointment to his position approves.

This section shall not prevent a present or former special state employee from aiding or assisting another person for compensation in the performance of work under a contract with or for the benefit of the commonwealth; provided, that the head of the special state employee’s department or agency has certified in writing that the interest of the commonwealth requires such aid or assistance and the certification has been filed with the state ethics commission.

This section shall not prevent a state employee from giving testimony under oath or making statements required to be made under penalty for perjury or contempt.

This section shall not prohibit a state employee from holding an elective or appointive office in a city, town or district, nor in any way prohibit such an employee from performing the duties of or receiving the compensation provided for such office. No such elected or appointed official may vote or act on any matter which is within the purview of the agency by which he is employed or over which such employee has official responsibility.

This section shall not prevent a state employee, other than an employee in the department of revenue, from requesting or receiving compensation from anyone other than the commonwealth in relation to the filing or amending of state tax returns.