Gov. Healey ethics disclosures offer insight on trips, conflicts

Ethics disclosures filed by Gov. Maura Healey and Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll this year offer a handful of details on the various trips the state executives have taken and areas where they identified potential conflicts of interests.

In 13 disclosures filed between February and July, Healey outlines areas where various organizations paid for her travel, lodging, and entrance to events. In one of the disclosures, she details actions she would take to prevent a conflict of interest with her brother, who is employed at Cisco Systems.

Healey said her brother, Jeremy Healey, works as the sales director for state and local government and educational clients of Cisco Systems in New England. The company offers computer software, network services, network security, data storage, and cloud computing services.

The company is a “major provider” of those services and “in fact, the commonwealth has a number of existing contracts with Cisco Systems for these services,” Healey wrote in an ethics filing dated Feb. 13.

Healey said none of her official actions are likely to affect her brother or Cisco Systems because “other officials are responsible and have full statutory and operational authority to make decisions in this area.”

“I have instructed my senior staff and the secretaries of EOTSS and EOAF that, in the unusual event the governor’s office is consulted in relation to a procurement of computer, networking, or related services where Cisco Systems is an actual or potential bidder, I will not participate in any discussion or review and I will instead assign a member of my senior staff to respond to the matter,” Healey wrote.

There have not been any occasions where Healey needed to direct her staff to deal with Cisco, according to the administration.

State law prevents conflicts between public employees’ private interests and their public duties and places restrictions on what they may do on the job, in their off hours, and after leaving public service, according to the State Ethics Commission.

In some situations, public employees can get an exemption to the conflict of interest law by filing a public disclosure form.

Healey’s travel-related disclosures

Other filings with the State Ethics Commission provide some insight into a trade trip Healey took to Ireland earlier this year. Healey’s office said the trip cost about $83,000, which was covered by the Massachusetts Tourism Fund, the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

The governor brought along staff, two secretaries, an undersecretary, Carolyn Kirk of the MassTech Collaborative, and Jay Ash of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Dublin and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs held a June 27 reception where the chamber covered “refreshments presumed to exceed $50 in value,” a state filing said.

A 4:30 p.m. dinner the same day presumed to exceed $200 for Healey was covered by the Irish Senate, the records said.

“The dinner will provide important and unique opportunities for me and for administration officials to meet and connect with elected officials in Ireland, to learn about Ireland’s business, technology, clean energy, and education sectors, and to discuss opportunities for strategic partnerships for the benefit of Massachusetts,” the filing said.

In another disclosure, Healey said the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership paid for six days of ground transportation at an estimated $900 and six days of meals at an estimated $600 for the Ireland trip.

Healey took several other out-of-state trips this year, and filings show some expenditures from those.

The National Governors Association paid about $564 for Healey to stay three nights at a Marriott hotel in Washington for their winter meeting in early February. The association also covered two breakfasts, two lunches, and one dinner at an estimated cost of $150, according to an ethics disclosure.

SelectUSA paid $1,095 for Healey’s registration fee for the 2023 SelectUSA Investment Summit. The event took place from May 1-4 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

The governor’s office held a “cabinet retreat” on May 11 and May 12 at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge. Some $600 in expenses for meals, refreshments, and “executive coaching services” were covered by the nonprofit corporation Healey-Driscoll Transition, Inc, ethics disclosures said.

“The cabinet retreat is a forum for the governor, lieutenant governor, cabinet secretaries, and governor’s office senior staff to meet to align on expectations for success and top cross-secretariat priorities, to engage in intensive and solutions-oriented conversations on these top priorities, to discuss strategies for enhancing interpersonal effectiveness and leadership skills, and to develop relationships with one another,” the ethics disclosure said.

Separate documents on file with the Secretary of State’s Office show the nonprofit was created in November 2022 to “assist, facilitate, and otherwise support the transition of the administration in the executive department of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Jack Corrigan, who runs the consulting and law firm Corrigan & Associates, is listed as the president. Gemma Martin, the head of The Chick Montana Group, a campaign finance shop, is listed as the treasurer.

Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll also filed an ethics disclosure related to the retreat that said the nonprofit corporation covered a similar $600 in expenses.

Healey traveled to the Democratic Governors Association’s spring policy conference in May where the association covered some $825 in airfare, lodging for one night, and meals for a stay in Michigan, according to an ethics disclosure.

The governor also jetted off to Atlantic City, New Jersey for the National Governors Association’s summer meeting, traveling from July 12 through July 14. The association covered three hotel nights at $475, meals at $175, and registration at $450, according to ethics filings.

“By participating in the conference programming, I will be able to connect with various leaders of state government and develop collaborative interstate relationships,” Healey wrote in the ethics filing.

Non-travel-related ethics disclosures

Healey disclosed a fundraising dinner in celebration of the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, where two individuals were expected to cover her roughly $100 dinner.

In other filings, Healey said she intended to approve Chapter 91 licenses — which govern waterways — for two individuals that contributed to her political campaign and the Harwich Conservation Trust, of which some of the trustees contributed to her campaign.

“This license application has first been independently reviewed and recommended by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in accordance with its processes for reviewing all Chapter 91 licenses,” Healey wrote in all the Chapter 91-related filings.

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