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Monday, July 23, 2007

In re Christine V. Bator, Commissioner, Board of Public Utilities

07-23-07 A-5028-05T2

Appellant, a Commissioner of the Board of Public Utilities,
appeals from a decision of the State Ethics Commission advising
that she must recuse herself from any matters in which her
sister's work product is involved. Appellant's sister is a BPU
employee within the Division of Energy, holding the position of
Chief of the Bureau of Rates and Tariffs.

We affirmed, holding that there is a disqualifying conflict
of interest here because appellant's sister has a significant
role in matters assigned to her Bureau. Thus, allowing
appellant to participate in matters on which her sister worked,
creates a reasonable public impression that appellant's judgment
as a member of the Board Public Utilities may be tainted or at
least influenced by personal considerations.