Fahey received private compensation relating to his public employment, allocated payments to himself and other town employees
Former Andover Youth Services Director William Fahey has paid a $20,000 civil penalty for violating the conflict of interest law by receiving payments from a private nonprofit in connection with his employment with the Town of Andover, and by allocating the payments to himself and members of his municipal staff. Fahey signed a Disposition Agreement in which he admitted to the violations and waived his right to a hearing.
In 2016, Fahey was the director of Andover Youth Services, a division of the Town of Andover’s Department of Community Services. Early that year, Fahey and Assistant Director Glenn Wilson met with the president of the private nonprofit Hurston Family Foundation.
The foundation proposed that it would provide funding for Andover Youth Services to support building maintenance, programming, and staff. The parties agreed that the Hurston Family Foundation would send the funding to another private nonprofit, the Andover Youth Foundation, which would in turn disburse the funds to Andover Youth Services. The Hurston Family Foundation made its first donation to Andover Youth Services this way in May 2016, earmarking $3,000 of the funds for payments of $500 each to Fahey, Wilson, and four other Andover Youth Services staff members.
Through 2020, the Hurston Family Foundation made nine additional donations via the Andover Youth Foundation to Andover Youth Services, all of which included private compensation for Andover Youth Services staff.
As Andover Youth Services Director, Fahey signed letters on Andover Youth Services letterhead describing how the department would allocate and use the money, and used his town-issued email account to send the letters to the Hurston Family Foundation. In each letter, Fahey listed specific “merit-based compensation” payments to himself and other full-time Andover Youth Services staff identified by their names and public job titles.
From 2016 through 2021, Fahey distributed checks provided by and drawn on account of the Andover Youth Foundation to himself and to other town employees. He completed the payee and amount fields on at least 30 Andover Youth Foundation checks the foundation provided to him. During this period, Fahey personally received a total of 10 payments of this private compensation totaling $16,500.
Fahey’s receipt of private compensation relating to his employment as Director of Andover Youth Services violated the conflict of interest law’s prohibition against municipal employees receiving compensation from anyone other than the municipality in relation to a matter in which the municipality is a party or has a direct and substantial interest.
Through his actions concerning merit payments to himself, Fahey also violated the conflict of interest law’s prohibition against public employees participating as such in matters in which they have a financial interest.
In addition, because Fahey was given the private compensation because of his position as Andover Youth Services Director, he violated the conflict of interest law’s prohibition against public employees receiving anything of substantial value not authorized by law or regulation, for or because of their official positions.
Finally, by signing the letters to secure private compensation for himself and other Andover Youth Services staff in his public capacity and disbursing the payments, Fahey violated the conflict of interest law’s prohibition against public employees using their official positions to obtain valuable unwarranted privileges for themselves or others.
In March 2023, Wilson signed a Disposition Agreement in which he admitted to violating the conflict of interest law through actions related to the private compensation and paid a $9,000 civil penalty.
The Commission encourages public employees to contact the Commission’s Legal Division at 617-371-9500 for free advice if they have any questions regarding how the conflict of interest law may apply to them.