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Council president fined by Ethics Commission

April 29, 2014

WOONSOCKET – City Council President Albert G. Brien has agreed to pay a $750 fine to the state Ethics Commission for unlawfully voting to hire City Clerk Christina Harmon-Duarte in December.

Because Harmon-Duarte had performed occasional secretarial work for Brien’s personal business concerns, the city official violated the ethics code by voting to hire her on Dec. 2, said Katherine D’Arezzo, the commission’s senior staff attorney. Specifically, the law forbids public officials from using their power to financially benefit themselves, relatives or business associates.

Former City Council President John Ward filed the complaint against Brien.

“He’s admitted to the error in judgment and he’s resolved the matter,” said D’Arezzo.

Full story appears on page A1 of Wednesday's Call.

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