Hartford, CT - Former Department of Construction Services (DCS) Director of Project Management Kermit Thompson, a Wallingford resident, entered a stipulation and consent order in which he agreed to pay a $2,000 penalty to the Office of State Ethics.
Mr. Thompson was laid off from his position as a project manager at DCS in 2011 due to budget cuts. Within one year of his departure, Mr. Thompson was listed as a proposed “Project Manager” and secondary “contact” on a bid proposal received by DCS for an $18 million contract to perform work on the building which housed his previous state office. The cover letter with the bid identified Mr. Thompson’s “extensive knowledge” of the project.
Section 1-84b(b) of the Code of Ethics for Public Officials prevents a former state employee from representing anyone for compensation before his former state agency within one year of departing state service. The term “represent” has been interpreted broadly to include a former employee identifying himself to the former agency in an attempt to gain state work. By identifying himself to DCS as someone who would be performing work on a state contract for compensation, Mr. Thompson violated Section 1-84b(b) of the Code.
In his defense, Mr. Thompson stated that he was not aware that his conduct would be considered “representing” before his former agency. He also stated that he believed that the revolving door rules applied only to people who, unlike him, voluntarily departed state service.
As part of the settlement, Mr. Thompson also agreed to file a Statement of Financial Interests for each of the next three years; and to seek advice from the Legal Division within thirty days on several issues.
“For a year after leaving public service, a state employee’s name, face or voice may not be used by his or her new employer before his or her former agency,” said Executive Director Carol Carson.