The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (“Commission”) announced today that it has reached a settlement with a former Department of Taxation and Finance (“Taxation”) employee to resolve allegations that he violated the Public Officers Law’s post-employment restrictions.
Under the terms of the settlement, former Tax Audit Administrator James Breen agreed to pay a $30,000 fine and admitted that after retiring from Taxation, he provided services on behalf of a tobacco distribution company in relation to tax refund claims filed with his former employer. Breen had arranged for someone else to help him file those claims, and shared some of his compensation with that other person.
Post-employment restrictions bar all former State employees from appearing or practicing before their former agencies for two years. It also bars former state employees from being paid for performing what’s commonly referred to as “backroom services”, which are services rendered in relation to any case, proceeding or application or other matter before their former agency.
This matter was originally referred to the Commission by the Office of Internal Affairs at Taxation after it completed its own investigation.