Ethics: Advisory Opinion No. 1993-5

Advisory Opinion No. 1993-5
Advisory Opinion No. 1993-5

Application Of The Post-State Employment Provisions Of The
Code To Division Of Special Revenue Personnel Laid Off Upon
Privatization Of Off-Track Betting System

Employees of the State’s Off-Track Betting (OTB) System, which operates within the Division of Special Revenue (DSR) face potential lay-offs from both the proposed privatization of the system and threatened budget cutbacks.  If privatization occurs, the DSR will retain its regulatory authority with respect to the private vendors operating the OTB system.  The petitioner has asked how the post-state employment provisions of the Code of Ethics for Public Officials, Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-84a and 1-84b, will affect the ability of certain laid-off employees to seek employment with private vendors subject to regulation by the DSR.  The petitioner has asked specifically about the following positions:  Special Revenue Unit Head (Gambling Regulation); Special Revenue Assistant Unit Head (Parimutuel); OTB Facilities Supervisor; OTB Manager 2; OTB Manager 1; Teletrack Line Supervisor; Cashier and OTB Terminal Operator.

Section 1-84b(d) of the Code of Ethics for Public Officials prohibits a former state employee “who participated substantially in the negotiation or award of a state contract obliging the state to pay an amount of fifty thousand dollars or more, or who supervised the negotiation or award of such a contract” from accepting employment with a party to the contract (other than the State) for a period of one year after resignation from his state position if his resignation occurs less than one year after the contract is signed.  The Commission has interpreted this restriction to also apply to grants and other state awards implemented by contract.  In State Ethics Commission Advisory Opinion No. 91-9, 52 Conn. L.J. No. 46, p. 3C (May 14, 1991), the Commission confirmed that 1-84b(d) applies even when a public official or state employee does not leave voluntarily, but is laid off.  Therefore, none of the enumerated employees will be permitted, within one year after leaving state service, to accept employment with a party to a state contract where the above conditions exist.

Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-84b(a), former employees of the DSR will be prohibited from ever representing anyone other than the State “concerning any particular matter (1) in which they participated personally and substantially while in state service and (2) in which the State has a substantial interest.”  This is a life-long prohibition, as is Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-84a, which will preclude former DSR employees from ever disclosing or using confidential information, acquired in state service, for their own financial gain or for the financial gain of another person.

Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-84b(b), former employees of the DSR will also be prohibited, for one year after leaving state service, from representing anyone other than the State for compensation before the Department of Revenue Services, the DSR or the Gaming Policy Board, concerning any matter in which the State has a substantial interest.  To “represent” means to do any activity that reveals the identity of a former state employee, including appearing in person, signing a document, or identifying oneself on the telephone.  See, State Ethics Commission Advisory Opinion No. 89-25, 51 Conn. L.J. No. 24, p. 2E (December 12, 1989).

Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-84b(c) imposes more stringent limitations upon certain current and former executive branch public officials or state employees, including the DSR’s Unit Chief of Gambling Regulation.  These restrictions, which are imposed only upon persons with significant decision-making or supervisory responsibility, will preclude the Unit Chief of Gambling Regulation, while in office, from negotiating for, seeking or accepting employment with any business subject to regulation by the Department of Revenue Services, the DSR or the Gaming Policy Board.  Such person will also be precluded, for one year after leaving the DSR, from accepting employment with a business subject to regulation by the Department of Revenue Services, the DSR or the Gaming Policy Board.  These restrictions apply equally to members of the Gaming Policy Board, the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director, Executive Assistant, the Chief Financial Examiner and Chief of Program Development (Computer Security) and the Unit Chiefs of Licensing and Integrity Assurance, Administration, Lottery, Security, Off-Track Betting and Planning and Research.

Specific limitations on seeking and accepting employment with a private vendor are established by Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-84b(c) and (d), described above.  The limitations upon a former state employee’s activities on behalf of a new employer, established by Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-84a, 1-84b(a) and 1-84b(b), may be more meaningfully addressed once the proposed employment has been identified.  Any former DSR employee who has obtained other employment may therefore wish to submit a more specific inquiry to the Commission.

By order of the Commission,

Christopher T. Donohue
Chairperson



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