Commission Cites Impounded Report that
Deems Sunskis “not appropriate for prosecution.”
The Massachusetts Ethics Commission says they cannot prove that Al Sinskis violated G.L. c. 268A, the conflict of interest law, by paying kickbacks on three occasions to Lawrence Public School (“LPS”) employees to obtain LPS contracts. One of the contracts involved the alleged fraudulent sale of equipment that was paid for by the LPS but never delivered.
The Ethics Commission issued a Ruling and Order to dismiss ethics charges today which involve Sunskis, a former Lawrence Teacher and owner of Wellington House Publishing, Inc. (“Wellington House”).
In taking this action, the Commission says they did not make any determination as to whether Sunskis violated the conflict of interest law, but rather dismissed the proceedings for the reason stated in the Joint Motion, i.e., that Sunskis was evaluated on June 27, 2013, and the written report of that evaluation, which has been impounded, indicates that Sunskis is “not appropriate for prosecution.”
The Commission previously cited former LPS employees John Laurenza and Charles Birchall for their participation in these transactions.
On June 6, 2012, the Commission approved a disposition agreement in which Laurenza agreed to pay a $4,000 civil penalty and a $536 civil forfeiture to the City of Lawrence for accepting bribes from Wellington Publishing. On October 6, 2011, the Commission approved a disposition agreement in which Birchall agreed to pay a $6,000 civil penalty and a $2,449 civil forfeiture to the City of Lawrence for accepting a bribe from Wellington Publishing.
Sunskis has long proclaimed his innocence in the corruption accusations and repeatedly said that he was targeted first by former School Superintendent Wilfredo Laboy and then by law enforcement becasue of his role in trying to bring wrongdoing in the schools to light.