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PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Ethics Commission has found that a proposal by Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien to solicit private donations to fund the salary of the new economic-development director would violate the state Code of Ethics, The Pawtucket Times reported.
The commission voted unanimously last month to back an advisory opinion that had been drafted by the commission staff opposing the proposal.
The opinion pertains to the position of special economic-projects coordinator. It is currently held by Richard Kazarian. Kazarian was hired by the city under a temporary-employment agreement and is being paid a salary of $1,000 per week.
Shortly after the creation of the position, Grebien announced his plan to implement a “public-private partnership” to fund the salary, which is currently being paid out of the Pawtucket Planning and Redevelopment Department budget, the Times said.
Jason Gramitt, staff attorney for the commission, said that the fundraising plan as proposed would have essentially benefited one individual, rather than Pawtucket as a whole, and would have gone against the provisions of the state’s Code of Ethics. •