LEOMINSTER, Mass. (AP) — The State Ethics Commission is citing Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella for violating Massachusetts’ conflict of interest law by directing that community development block grant funds be used to rehabilitate the property of an elderly friend.
The commission said Mazzarella told the city’s housing rehabilitation program coordinator to use the funds without following standard procedure. The commission also said Mazzarella failed to disclose his relationship with the property owner.
Under the agreement with the commission, Mazzarella has paid a $4,000 civil penalty.
According to the commission, the incident occurred in 2007 when Mazzarella said an 81-year-old friend was in a rehabilitation center recovering from an injury and needed his home repaired as soon as possible using the block grant funds.
The estimated cost of the project was nearly $20,000.