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Woman fined for ethics violation

January 18, 2010 Local News 2 Comments

ctflagThe state ethics board fined a Coventry woman who once worked at the University of Connecticut Health Center $15,000 Friday for using state time and resources to promote other businesses.

The Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board found Priscilla Dickman guilty of using UCHC resources while on paid time to promote her jewelry business and work as a travel consultant.

On Saturday, the board released the information regarding the fine.

“Public resources are for public use, and not for any personal or private use,” said Carol Carson, executive director for the Office of State Ethics. “The Office of State Ethics will continue to fairly and vigorously enforce the code of ethics regarding any misuses of public resources.”

The board said in its ruling that Dickman used the health center’s computers, e-mail system, telephones, Internet access and printers for her jewelry business, Priscilla’s Custom Design Jewelry.

She also used state phones and e-mail to work as a travel consultant and did work for both ventures while she was on the clock as a medical technologist at UCHC, according to the board.

The board found Dickman did not have her own computer during 2004 and 2005, when the offenses occurred, and even used the UCHC e-mail system from other locations while not on state time to promote her business.
While she was able to avoid incurring the costs of running the business, the board said Dickman did declare revenue, according to tax records.

The board said Priscilla’s Custom Designed Jewelry declared $14,315 in 2004 in gross receipts for the direct sale of jewelry and another $45,672 from the indirect sales of jewelry.

She also made $850 from sales of goods in 2005, as well as additional revenues from her work as a travel consultant, the board said.
The board ultimately imposed a $10,000 fine for Dickman’s use of state resources for her jewelry business and $5,000 for doing the same as a travel consultant.

The board is also required to notify the attorney general of both charges, because Dickman, who was originally facing eight counts of violation, knowingly received a financial advantage for each violation.

The board did not find, however, that Dickman’s “independence of judgment with regards to her state job was impaired” by her violation.

The advisory board, a nine-member panel of appointments by the governor and the legislature, was included as part of the Office of Ethics in 2005 and serves as the jury in such public hearings.

Dickman’s public hearing, which began in September, was the first case for the board.

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
    OSE-Continues to mislead the Citizens of the State

    Ms.Trimble should be aware of the emails concerning Jones’ use of state computers and state emails, since they were provided by the OSE and a check presented for their printing in 2008.

    This behavior directly conflicts with the statement, “Public resources are for public use and not for any personal or private use,” said Carol Carson,executive director for the Office of State Ethics. “The Office of State Ethics will continue to fairly and vigorously enforce the code of ethics regarding any misuses of public resources”

    Good to know we have now put in place another hypocritical Ethics Office that makes the rules, but allows its own employees to break them after DAS detailed their policy in 2006 well before OSE Enforcement Officer Thomas K.Jones accepted the position.

    Meredith Trimble again misleads when she states there was ever a
    reprimand concerning use of emails or computers by the supervisors,
    managers, or human resources.

    The documents entered into evidence detail this additional advancement of misinformation was blatantly untrue. Trimble was aware as well, that the supervisor Dias AFTER the policy on computer use in May 2006 was in place was found by Office of Public Auditors case # 2008-06 to have violated the policy by using the computer, internet and emails for personal use in excess of one hour per day.

    No discipline was taken as evidenced by information obtained through Freedom of Information and as evidenced by Feliciano Dias’ testimony during the probable cause hearing (where he stated he was not aware of a problem with his use) nor during his testimony on day 6 of the trial.

    At some point, the OSE must stop misleading and manufacturing evidence.

    They are servants of the state, the citizens do not work for the OSE,
    the OSE works for the citizens and at some point they too must be
    accountable for their actions.

    What Trimble failed to address is that they failed to prove their case
    and we will expect them to do that, not assume a fine imposed is the
    end of the issue. It is merely the beginning, or state employees will
    have had all their rights stripped away with no access to a fair trial

  2. The old Klar Krest resort was a turning point in my life. Worked a summer there at age 18, fresh from Arizona, and met wonderful kids and adventures. So sorry it’s not being preserved.

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