Working Families Official To Pay $10,000 Ethics Fine
November 19, 2011
Jon Green of West Hartford, the Connecticut Working Families Organization's executive director, has agreed to pay a $10,000 fine to the Office of State Ethics for failing to wear the required badge identifying him as a lobbyist when he lobbied state legislators on the paid sick leave bill that passed this year, the ethics agency announced Thursday.
According to a consent order approved Thursday by the Citizenís Ethics Advisory Board, Green lobbied without a badge between January and June for the Working Families Organization, "personally communicating on over 100 occasions with officials, or their staffs, in the legislative and executive branches of government as well as by soliciting others to engage in such lobbying."
He will pay the fine in installments by Feb. 17, 2012.
Green also serves as executive director of the Connecticut Working Families Party, a political party and a separate entity that works out of the same office as the Working Families Organization. He "lobbied some of the same legislators whom he endorsed in the 2010 election cycle and to whose 2010 campaigns Working Families Party, under his direction, contributed resources," the ethics agency said in a press release.
In the consent agreement that Green signed, he also agreed to several conditions on his future lobbying activities, including: notifying the ethics office if he spends 10 hours lobbying; registering as a lobbyist if he spends 20 hours or more lobbying; and maintaining a written summary, reviewable by the ethics office for the next five years, of all his contacts with public officials and state employees to discuss legislative or administrative action. Failure to comply with those conditions may bring additional penalties, the ethics agency said.
"The requirement to register as a lobbyist is designed to provide the public with transparency regarding lobbying activity," said the ethics office's executive director, Carol Carson. "Failure to register or wear a lobbyist badge subverts the publicís right to know who is influencing government action."
"Forgetting to pick up my lobbyist badge was a dumb mistake, and one I surely won't make again," Green said in a statement to Susan Haigh of the Associated Press.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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