The 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.