Advisory Opinion No. 99-88

Re: Mary E. McCaffrey, Esq.

QUESTION PRESENTED

The petitioner, a Warwick Municipal Court Judge, a municipal appointed position, requests an advisory opinion as to whether the Code of Ethics requires her to list bridal shower and wedding gifts she received on her 1998 financial disclosure statement.

RESPONSE

It is the opinion of the Rhode Island Ethics Commission that the Code of Ethics requires the petitioner, a Warwick Municipal Court Judge, a municipal appointed position, to list all gifts she received in excess of $100.00 on her 1998 financial disclosure statement, including bridal shower and wedding gifts.

As a municipal appointed official, the petitioner is required to file an annual financial statement with the Ethics Commission pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-16(a). The statute requires that the financial statement must identify any person, business entity or other organization from whom she, her spouse or dependent child received a gift or contribution of money or property in excess of $100.00 in value, or a series of gifts or contributions of money or property totaling more than $100.00 in value received from the same source, and a description of each gift or contribution. See R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-17(b)(4). In crafting the legislation the General Assembly did not make a distinction between social gifts and, for instance, gifts received because of or through a professional rather than personal relationship. However, the petitioner need not list those gifts received from her siblings, parents, children, grandparents, great grandparents, grandchildren, great grandchildren, uncles or aunts, nieces or nephews, or in-laws. See Commission Regulation 36-14-2001(21).

Code Citations:

36-14-16
36-14-17(b)(4)
36-14-2001(21)

Keywords:

Financial Disclosure
Gifts