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701-S PalliniPHONE: 717-783-1'610 TOLL FREE: 1-800-932-0936 In Re: Vincent Pallini, Respondent SI-AT"THICS COMMISSION FINANCE BUILDING 1,14 91,10-M-WO&SO Iw E-mr-amm-laRIMMYTINVA File Docket: X-ref. Date Decided Date Mailed: FACSIMILE: 717-78,7-0806 WEBSITE: wwwothics.oa.mv 21-042-P Order No. 70 1 -S 9/15/21 9/17/21 Before: Nicholas A. Colatella, Chair Marl(R. Corrigan, Vice Chair Roger Nick Melanie DePalma Michael A. Schwartz Shelley Y. Simms This is a final adjudication of the State Ethics Commission as to the alleged delinquency and/or deficiency of Statement(s) of Financial Interests required to be filed pursuant to Sections 1104 and 1105 of the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act ("Ethics Act"'), 65 Pa.C.S. § 1101 et seq. The Investigative Division initiated these proceedings by filing with the State Ethics Commission and serving upon Respondent a Petition for Civil Penalties. An Order to Show Cause was issued to Respondent. An Answer to the Order to Show Cause was filed by Respondent, and a hearing was deemed waived. The record is complete. MENERNWIDIUM A. Pleadings I Respondent is an adult individual who resides or maintains a mailing address at [address redacted]. 2. At all times relevant to these proceedings, Respondent has been an Auditor 11 with the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General, and as such, Respondent has at all times relevant to these proceedings been a "public employee" as defined in Section 1102 of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1101 Respondent, as a public employee, is subject to the Statement of Financial Interests, filing provisions of the Ethics Act. 4. Respondent has failed to provide -full financial disclosure as required by the Ethics Act. Respondent has failed to file a Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019, which Statement of Financial Interests was to be filed by May 1, 2020, and Respondent has therefore transgressed Sections 1104 and 1105 of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §§ 1104, Pal[ini, 21-042-P Page 2 1105. 5. By Notice letter dated October 13, 2020, Respondent was served with Notice in accordance with Section 1107(5) of the Ethics Act of the specific allegations against Respondent concerning the above transgression. Said Notice letter provided Respondent an opportunity to avoid the institution of these civil penalty proceedings by filing an accurate and complete Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019 within twenty (20) days of the date of the Notice letter. Respondent has failed and refused to file a Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019 so as to comply with the specific requirements of the Ethics Act. 6. By Notice letter dated November 9, 2020, Respondent was served with Notice in accordance with Section 1107(5) of the Ethics Act of the specific allegations against Respondent concerning the above transgression. Said Notice letter provided Respondent an opportunity to avoid the institution of these civil penalty proceedings by filing an accurate and complete Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019 within twenty (20) days of the date of the Notice letter. Respondent has failed and refused to file a Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019 so as to comply with the specific requirements of the Ethics Act. 7. Section 1109(f) of the Ethics Act provides: § 1109. Penalties (1) Civil penalty. --In addition to any other civil remedy or criminal penalty provided for in this chapter, the commission may, after notice has been served in accordance with section 1107(5) (relating to powers and duties of commission) and upon a majority vote of its members, levy a civil penalty upon any person subject to this chapter who fails to file a statement of financial interests in a timely manner or who files a deficient statement of financial interests, at a rate of not more than $25 for each day such statement remains delinquent or deficient. The maximum penalty payable under this paragraph is $250. 65 Pa.C.S. § 1109(f). For each violation the Commission finds, Respondent is subject to civil penalty liability under Section 1109(f) of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1109(f), at a rate of not more than $25.00 per day for each day the Statement of Financial Interests remains delinquent or deficient, for a maximum civil penalty of $250.00 per violation. Because Respondent has committed one violation alleged herein, Respondent is subject to total maximum civil penalty liability of $250.00. 9. The Investigative Division asserts that there are no mitigating circumstances in this case and that Respondent should be assessed the maximum civil penalty of $250.00, in that the Pallini, 21-042-P Page 3 twenty -day deadline set forth in the said final Notice letter to Respondent has expired and the Respondent has not complied. B. Other Fact Findings 10. On July 12, 2021, the Investigative Division filed with the State Ethics Commission a Petition for Civil Penalties against Respondent, alleging that Respondent failed to file a Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019, which Statement of Financial Interests was to be filed by May 1 of 2020. 11. On July 21, 2021, the Chair of the State Ethics Commission issued an Order to Show Cause, ordering Respondent to show cause why a civil penalty should not be levied against him. 12. On July 30, 2021, Respondent filed an Answer to the Order to Show Cause, in which Respondent stated that: (1) he resigned on good terms from his employment with the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General in June 2019; (2) he believes that this situation surrounds disclosing what, if any, securities or stocks he may have owned while employed with the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General; (3) he did not have any securities or stock investments at that time, and he is confident that he indicated such in the appropriate documentation within the appropriate time frame; (4) perhaps the documentation was not received by the Commonwealth; and (5) the signatures on Domestic Return Receipts for mail addressed to him are not his signature or that of a family member. (Answer to Order to Show Cause). 13. Neither party requested a hearing in this matter, and a hearing was deemed waived. 11. DISCUSSION: As an Auditor II for the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General, Vincent Pallini ("Pallini") was at all times relevant to these proceedings a "public employee" subject to the provisions of the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act ("Ethics Act"), 65 Pa.C.S. § 1101 et seq. Pursuant to Section 1104(a) of the Ethics Act, Pallini was specifically required to file a Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019 with the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General on or before May 1, 2020. Section 1104(a) provides: § 1104. Statement of financial interests required to be filed (a) Public official or public employee. --Each public official of the Commonwealth shall file a statement of financial interests for the preceding calendar year with the commission no later than May I of each year that he holds such a position and of the year after he leaves such a position. Each public employee and public official of the Commonwealth shall file a statement of financial interests for the preceding calendar year with the department, agency, body or bureau in which he is employed or to which he is appointed or elected no later than May 1 of each year that he holds such a position and of the year after he Pallini, 21-042-P Page 4 leaves such a position. Any other public employee or public official shall file a statement of financial interests with the governing authority of the political subdivision by which he is employed or within which he is appointed or elected no later than May I of each year that he holds such a position and of the year after he leaves such a position. Persons who are full-time or part-time solicitors for political subdivisions are required to file under this section. 65 Pa.C.S. § 1104(a). The complete financial disclosure which Pallini as an Auditor 11 for the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General was required to provide in the Statement of Financial Interests form is statutorily mandated in detail at Section 1105 of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1105. Section 1109(f) of the Ethics Act provides as follows: § 1109. Penalties (f) Civil penalty.-- In addition to any other civil remedy or criminal penalty provided for in this chapter, the commission may, after notice has been served in accordance with section 1107(5) (relating to powers and duties of commission) and upon a majority vote of its members, levy a civil penalty upon any person subject to this chapter who fails to file a statement of financial interests in a timely manner or who files a deficient statement of financial interests, at a rate of not more than $25 for each day such statement remains delinquent or deficient. The maximum penalty payable under this paragraph is $250. 65 Pa.C.S. § 1109(f). Procedurally, in accordance with Section 1107(5) of the Ethics Act, the Investigative Division of the State Ethics Commission sent a Notice of Intent to Commence Civil Penalty Proceedings (Notice letter) dated October 13, 2020, to Pallini, stating that Pallini had failed to file a Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019. The Notice letter provided Pallini an opportunity to avoid the institution of civil penalty proceedings by filing an accurate and complete Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019 within twenty (20) days of the date of the Notice letter. Pallini did not file a Statement of Financial Interests within such 20-day grace period. A Final Notice letter dated November 9, 2020, containing the same substantive information as the first Notice letter, and providing another 20-day grace period for filing the delinquent Statement of Financial Interests, was sent to Pallini. Once again, Pallini did not file a Statement of Financial Interests within the 20-day grace period. On July 12, 2021, the Investigative Division instituted formal proceedings against Pallini by filing with the State Ethics Commission a Petition for Civil Penalties, which was subsequently served upon Pallini. On July 21, 2021, the Commission Chair issued an Order to Show Cause, ordering Pallini to show cause why a civil penalty should not be levied against him. Pallini, 21-042-P Page 5 On July 30, 2021, Pallini filed an Answer to the Order to Show Cause, in which Pallini stated that: (1) he resigned on good terms from his employment with the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General in June 2019; (2) he believes that this situation surrounds disclosing what, if any, securities or stocks he may have owned while employed with the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General; (3) he did not have any securities or stock investments at that time, and he is confident that he indicated such in the appropriate documentation within the appropriate time frame; (4) perhaps the documentation was not received by the Commonwealth; and (5) the signatures on Domestic Return Receipts for mail addressed to him are not his signature or that of a family member. Pursuant to Section I I09(f) of the Ethics Act, this Commission may levy a maximum civil penalty against Pallini for the delinquent Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019. Although we may consider mitigating factors when exercising our discretion to levy civil penalty(ies), see, State Ethics Commission Resolution No. 91-002, there is no evidence of record establishing mitigating circumstances in this case. The assertions set forth by Pallini in his Answer to the Order to Show Cause are unsupported. There is nothing of record that would constitute a defense or excuse for Pallini's failure to comply with the Ethics Act. We find that Pallini, as an Auditor 11 for the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General, failed to comply with Section 1104(a) of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1104(a), when he failed to file a Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019 with the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General. We hereby levy one maximum civil penalty against Pallini at the rate of Twenty -Five Dollars ($25.00) per day for each day his Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019 has remained delinquent. Given the number of days during which the Statement of Financial Interests has remained delinquent, the resultant amount to be levied against Pallini is Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($250.00). Pallini shall be ordered to make payment of the above civil penalty in the amount of $250.00 by no later than the thirtieth (30th) day after the mailing date of this adjudication and Order, by forwarding a check to this Commission made payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for deposit in the State Treasury. Pallini shall be ordered to file a complete and accurate Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019 with the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General by no later than the thirtieth (301h) day after the mailing date of this adjudication and Order, with one copy forwarded to this Commission for compliance verification purposes. III. CONCLUSIONS OF LAW: 1. As an Auditor 11 for the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General, Vincent Pallini ("Pallini") was at all times relevant to these proceedings a "public employee" subject to the provisions of the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act ("Ethics Act"), 65 Pa.C.S. § t 101 et seq. Pallini, 21-042-P Page 6 2. Pallini, as an Auditor 11 for the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General, failed to comply with Section 1104(a) of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1104(a), when he failed to file a Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019 with the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General. Notice of the delinquency of Pallini's Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019 was previously served upon him in accordance with Section 1107(5) of the Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1107(5). 4. Based upon the totality of the circumstances in this case, a civil penalty in the total amount of $250.00 is warranted. In Re: Vincent Pallini, File Docket: 21-042-P Respondent Date Decided: 9/15/21 Date Mailed: 9/17/21 ORDER NO. 701-S Vincent Pallini ("Pallini"), as an Auditor 11 for the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General, failed to comply with Section 1104(a) of the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1104(a), when he failed to file a Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019 with the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General. 2. This Commission hereby levies one maximum civil penalty against Pallini at the rate of Twenty -Five Dollars ($25.00) per day for each day his Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019 has remained delinquent, for a total civil penalty of Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($250.00). Pallini is ordered to pay said civil penalty in the total amount of $250.00 by no later than the thirtieth (30'h) day after the mailing date of this Order, by forwarding a check to the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission made payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for deposit in the State Treasury. 3. Pallini is ordered to file a complete and accurate Statement of Financial Interests for calendar year 2019 with the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General by no later than the thirtieth (30") day after the mailing date of this Order, with one copy forwarded to the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission for compliance verification purposes. 4. Failure to comply with Paragraph 2 or 3 of this Order will result in the initiation of an appropriate enforcement action. BY THE COMMISSION, Nicholas A. Colafella, Chai