Dorchester teacher’s present raises state ethics questions
January 24, 2015 - School Supplies
The fortifying story of a Dorchester propagandize clergyman who donated a $150,000 she won in a letter competition to her school, heading to regard and a vast personal check from TV’s Ellen DeGeneres for her generosity, might be confronting a state ethics conflict.
Nicole Bollerman, a third-grade clergyman during UP Academy Dorchester, done news in Dec when she donated all of a esteem income from Capital One’s Wish For Others campaign, and a letter contest, to a licence school.
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“We are really unapproachable of Nikki and trust she exhibited a turn of selflessness that few of us could match,” pronounced Scott Given, owner and arch executive of UP Education Network, that runs UP Academy, in an e-mail on Friday.
After donating her loot to a propagandize and a immature students, Bollerman was invited onto a “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” final week, where DeGeneres called her an extraordinary lady and presented her with a check for $25,000.
DeGeneres also gave any tyro during UP Academy, that is located in a Bowdoin- Geneva section, a trek with propagandize reserve and a $100 Target present card. Each of a 70 teachers during a propagandize perceived a $500 Target present label for propagandize reserve that a teachers would routinely buy out of pocket.
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But a CommonWealth repository letter Thursday lifted concerns that roughly all of a money gifts might be in defilement of state ethics laws. Even a strange $150,000 esteem could be adult in a air.
Massachusetts ubiquitous laws extent gifts given to metropolitan employees to $50 or less. Charter propagandize teachers, like Bollerman, are deliberate open employees and theme to a ethics laws.
A orator for a State Ethics Commission could not be reached for criticism Friday night.
Bollerman also could not be reached.
Bollerman’s conditions is identical to one in Jan 2014, in that 4 Wellesley firefighters who saved a dog from a solidified pool were being presented journey boat tickets by DeGeneres on her show. But a 4 had to decrease a Caribbean cruises given of a ethics regulation.
They were taboo given they were behaving as firefighters, not individuals, when they saved a dog.
DeGeneres’s representative did not lapse requests for criticism Friday night.
The categorical emanate in a Bollerman box is either she was awarded a gifts as a propagandize teacher, or as a private individual.
In a letter contest, Bollerman wrote: “I’m a third-grade clergyman in a low-income, high-risk facile propagandize in Boston, MA. My #wish for others is that my voracious, adorable, hard-working, amatory scholars all leave for their Dec mangle with a book in their hand.”
The competition unite comparison Bollerman as one of a grand esteem winners, promulgation books to all of her students and giving her $150,000. She soon donated it to a school, job it “the right thing to do.”
Given believes a gifts are in correspondence with state ethics laws.
“When she initial perceived word of her esteem her evident suspicion was to give behind to her students and school,” he said.
“UP was beholden to Nikki for her inexhaustible present and felt it was formed on who she is as a person, as an individual, rather than her purpose as a clergyman and was therefore appropriate. We have given reviewed a matter serve and feel a donations are suitable and simulate a exemptions authorised for acceptance of such donations.”
In advocating for Bollerman to keep her winnings, a UP central cited a 1982 Ethics Commission preference that ruled that a state employee, who was partial of a bend of a Judiciary, could keep $500 won in a competition entered “on your possess time and during your cost.”
That worker did not have any communication with a competition sponsors in their central duties, and a elect judged that a endowment did not consecrate a dispute of seductiveness that would nullify a prize.Jennifer Smith can be reached during email@example.com