Ethics: Advisory Opinion No. 1993-22

Advisory Opinion No. 1993-22
Advisory Opinion No. 1993-22

Application Of Revolving Door Law To Vice President And
Managing Director Of
Connecticut Development Authority

Roger R. Phillips, Vice President and Managing Director of the Connecticut Development Authority (“CDA”), has asked how the Code of Ethics for Public Officials, Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-79 et seq., applies to him if he accepts a position with a corporation which received a $1.5 million loan from CDA in 1992.

Specifically, Mr. Phillips was the loan officer assigned by CDA to analyze and present Structured Technology Corporation’s (“STC”) loan request to CDA’s Board of Directors for formal review and approval.  The loan closed on October 30, 1992.  Mr. Phillips has now been offered a senior management position with STC.

As a threshold matter, Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-84b(d) prohibits a public official or state employee who participated substantially in the negotiation or award of a state contract obliging the state to pay at least fifty thousand dollars from accepting employment with a party to the contract other than the state for a year after resignation from state service, if the contract is signed less than a year before the resignation.  This provision applies to loans granted by the state and memorialized by contract.  See also State Ethics Commission Advisory Opinion No.  90-27, 52 Conn. L.J. No. 10, p. 7D (9/4/90).  Here, however, Mr. Phillips indicates that the loan closed on October 30, 1992, and represents that the job offer did not occur until after October 30, 1993.  Therefore, provided that the job was not offered as a quid pro quo for action which Mr. Phillips took in his official capacity at CDA on behalf of STC, the Code of Ethics does not prohibit its acceptance.

Nonetheless, the remaining provisions of the revolving door law will apply to Mr. Phillips.  For one year after leaving state service, he may not represent STC before the CDA on any matter.  Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-84b(b).  The forbidden representation includes attending meetings with CDA staff or officials, making telephone calls, signing correspondence or other documents submitted to CDA, or including his name on any letterhead so submitted.  See Advisory Opinion No. 91-24, 53 Conn. L.J. No. 16, p. 1C (10/15/91).

Mr. Phillips may never represent STC in connection with any particular matter in which he participated personally and substantially while he was in state service and in which the state has a substantial interest.  Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-84b(a).  For example, if a provision of the loan he helped negotiate became the subject of a dispute between the CDA and his new employer, Mr. Phillips must refrain from assuming any role for STC with regard to that dispute.  Similarly, Mr. Phillips may not participate in any renegotiation of an existing provision of the loan.  “To hold otherwise would undermine public confidence that the official had only the state’s interest in mind when a particular contract was made.”  See Advisory Opinion No. 89-11, 50 Conn. L.J. No. 44, p. 5C (5/2/89), Advisory Opinion No. 88-13, 50 Conn. L.J. No. 8, p. 4C (8/23/88), Advisory Opinion No. 91-24, 53 Conn. L.J. No. 16, p. 1C (10/15/91).

Finally, Mr. Phillips may never use confidential information gained in his state service for anyone’s financial benefit.  Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-84a.

Provided that these restrictions are followed, Mr. Phillips may accept the contemplated employment with STC.

By order of the Commission,

Christopher T. Donohue

Content Last Modified on 9/7/2005 7:59:47 AM