BURRILLVILLE – A former Pascoag fire commissioner has settled an ethics complaint over a 2017 vote to purchase a vehicle that his business would later repair.
Peter Drouin will pay a $150 civil penalty, according to an order approved by the Rhode Island Ethics Commission issued on Tuesday, Nov. 19.
Earlier this month, the commission found probable cause to believe that Drouin violated state law when he was serving on the board in 2017.
The complaint, submitted by resident Madelyn Putnam in May, notes that Drouin owns Burrillville Motors, and voted to purchase a vehicle that the business had on consignment, a 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe, knowing that he would later complete the needed paint and body work.
The district purchased the truck for $1,600 that month and that May, cut checks to Burrillville Motors for $3,651 and then $453 for the repair work.
It is the fifth ethics complaint submitted over the past two years against an official who served the village fire district.
Chairman Chris Toti, who was appointed to the board midway through this year, has since taken action to implement new procedures and business practices, saying that he hopes to increase transparency and accountability in the district. Earlier this month, the board terminated Chief Harold Carter and placed his brother, Deputy Chief Keith Carter, on a two week suspension.