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MassHealth director fined $6,000 for receiving free Red Sox tickets

The director repeatedly asked for and received free Red Sox tickets from a state contractor who she worked with.

Stacia Castro paid a $6,000 civil penalty for violating conflict of interest law. Dina Rudick/Globe Staff.

The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission has fined a former MassHealth director $6,000 for soliciting and receiving free Red Sox tickets from a state contractor she regularly worked with.

The Ethics Commission said in a news release that Stacia Castro, a former director of the MassHealth Specialty Provider Network, has paid a $6,000 civil penalty for violating conflict of interest law.

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It said that while she was a MassHealth director, she repeatedly asked for and received free Red Sox tickets from the contractor administering the MassHealth dental program.

Castro signed a disposition agreement in which she admitted to the violations and waived her right to a hearing, the Commission said.

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As director of the MassHealth Specialty Provider Network, the Commission said, Castro was responsible for day-to-day interactions with DentaQuest — the third-party administrator of MassHealth’s dental program.

In June 2016, the Commission said, Castro asked DentaQuest’s regional director if the company had access to Red Sox tickets. The company then gave Castro four free tickets valued at $120 apiece, a tour of Fenway Park, and a $500 voucher for dinner at Fenway Park’s EMC Club.

In June 2017, the Commission said, Castro asked the DentaQuest regional director for six free Red Sox tickets, but DentaQuest was unable to get her the tickets.

Castro again asked DentaQuest for free Red Sox tickets in May 2018, and was given four tickets worth $120 apiece, the Commission said.

Conflict of interest law prohibits public employees from asking for or receiving anything worth $50 or more for or because of their public positions that is not authorized by law.

The Commission encourages public employees to contact the Commission’s Legal Division at 617-371-9500 for free advice if they have any questions regarding how conflict of interest law may apply to them. 

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