In the Matter of Ellen Baer
IN THE MATTER OF ELLEN BAER
COIB Case No. 93-282
July 6, 1995
SUMMARY: The Board imposed a $5,000 fine in 1995 on a former high-level City official, Ellen Baer, who interviewed for a job with a City bidder, Lockheed Information Management Services Company, Inc. (“Lockheed”), and accepted meals worth more than $50 per year from Lockheed while working on the City matter involving Lockheed, without disclosing the receipt of those meals.
STIPULATION AND DISPOSITION
1. During the period from May 1991 through March 1992 (the "period"), while I was Chief of Staff to Deputy Mayor Norman Steisel, various New York City governmental agencies and offices were engaged in developing a Request for Proposals to Operate, Maintain and Privatize the Summons Processing System of the New York City Parking Violations Bureau (the "PVB RFP"), in which Lockheed Information Management Services Company, Inc. ("Lockheed"), was interested and involved as a prospective bidder.
2. In connection with the consideration of privatization of the PVB and development of the PVB RFP:
(i) I met on May 1, 1991 with Michael Primeggia, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, at which meeting Lockheed's interest in privatization of the PVB was discussed.
(ii) I attended a meeting with Deputy Mayor Steisel and representatives of Lockheed on June 11, 1991, at which Lockheed's interest in privatization of the PVB was discussed.
(iii) I received a telephone call in late December, 1991, from Jeffrey Weinstein, First Deputy Director of the Mayor's Office of Contracts, following which I met on January 6, 1992 with Jeffrey Weinstein and Donna Blank, Assistant Director of the Mayor's Office of Operations. At that meeting, Weinstein requested guidance from the First Deputy Mayor with respect to the structure of PVB RFP and explained the issues about which he was concerned.
(iv) Following the January 6, 1992 meeting, I discussed with Deputy Mayor Steisel the issues raised at that meeting and relayed to Jeffrey Weinstein Deputy Mayor Steisel's views with respect to those issues.
(v) Both before and after the January 6, 1992 meeting, I received copies of memoranda relating to the development of the PVB RFP.
3. During the Period, I had the following communications and discussions regarding the possibility of my becoming employed by Lockheed:
(i) In early December 1991, I received a telephone call from Amy Rosen, a Lockheed employee, who said there might be an employment opportunity for me in Lockheed's transportation division. She requested that I send a resume.
(ii) I sent a letter, dated December 6, 1991, enclosing my resume, to John Brophy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lockheed, and within a week or two thereafter called Lockheed and left a message for Mr. Brophy seeking to arrange a meeting with him.
(iii) I met with Mr. Brophy on February 20, 1992, to discuss employment with Lockheed.
(iv) I met with Kevin Smyley, a Lockheed executive, on February 28, 1992, to discuss employment with Lockheed.
4. On March 2, 1992, I sent a letter to Mr. Weinstein and Ms. Blank recusing myself completely from the PVB RFP matter.
5. At all relevant times I was generally familiar with the conflicts of interest provisions of Chapter 68 of the New York City Charter.
6. Although I did not understand at the time that through my actions I was directly concerned with or personally participating in the PVB RFP process, I do not contest the initial determination of the Conflicts of Interest Board, that (a) by virtue of the facts set forth in paragraph 2 above, I was directly concerned with and personally participating in the PVB RFP process within the meaning of Section 2604(d)(1)(ii) of the New York City Charter, (b) by virtue of the facts set forth in paragraph 3 above, I solicited employment from Lockheed within the meaning of such section, and, as a consequence, (c) I violated such section.
7. In each of the years 1992 and 1993, I accepted from Lockheed meals having in the aggregate a value of more than $50.00 ($146.52 in 1992 and $51.73 in 1993) without disclosing the receipt of those meals in writing to Deputy Mayor Norman Steisel. While I did not understand at the time that this conduct was improper, I do not contest the initial determination of the Conflicts of Interest Board that, by reason of the facts set forth in the preceding sentence, I violated Section 2604(b)(5) of the New York City Charter and Rule § 1-01(a) promulgated by the Conflicts of Interest Board thereunder.
In acknowledgement of the foregoing, I agree to pay a fine of $5,000, with $2,500 to be paid within twenty days of the date of my execution of this agreement and the remaining $2,500 to be paid within 180 days of that date.
I agree that this statement will be filed as a public and final resolution of the charges against me and will be available for public inspection, upon a personal request made to the Conflicts of Interest Board offices at 2 Lafayette Street, Suite 1010, New York, New York.
Dated: July 25, 1995
The City of New York Conflicts of Interest Board accepts this letter and the terms contained herein as a final disposition of the charges against Ellen Baer in the above-referenced case. Accordingly, the Board hereby agrees not to file a petition against Ms. Baer alleging the matters recited in the Notice of Initial Determination dated November 26, 1993 (Conflicts of Interest Board Case No. 93-282).
The Conflicts of Interest Board
Dated: August 4, 1995