Barnstable Mass

CAPE COD Democrat District Attorney Robert Galibois – Fined $5K – Ethics Violations

Cape DA Pays $5,000 For Conflict Law Violation

Ethics Commission Cites Infractions At Outset Of Galibois’ Term In Office


STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MAY 1, 2024…..Cape Cod’s district attorney paid a $5,000 state fine, the Ethics Commission announced Wednesday, after breaching the conflict of interest law by advertising a campaign donor’s vacant apartments to his staff and directing an assistant prosecutor to write a positive press release about a motor vehicle altercation he was involved in.

Both infractions of the conflict of interest law date to February 2023, the commission said, and Wednesday’s announcement concluded an inquiry into District Attorney Robert Galibois II that began last May.

The incidents took place shortly after Galibois took office. The Barnstable Democrat beat Republican Daniel Higgins by more than 16,500 votes in 2022 to turn the Cape and Islands prosecutor’s office blue for the first time in decades.

The Ethics Commission “determined that the public interest would be served by the disposition of this matter without further enforcement proceedings” other than the $5,000 civil penalty, the panel said.

One of the two violations came after the owner of the CapeBuilt modular home company — who was also a donor to Galibois’ campaign — texted Galibois offering up “a couple apartments coming up” for rent “if there is someone in your office I should connect with.”

“Our goal has always been to provide great housing options for the folks who make Barnstable work!” the business owner wrote, according to a transcript.

Staff in the DA’s office undergo background checks, according to the commission, which referred to the office’s employees as “a targeted group of desirable prospective tenants.”

The commission found that “there was no justification for using public resources for this private purpose,” and Galibois’ subsequent email to staff “was substantially valuable to the Donor because it aided the Donor’s search for desirable tenants.”

The DA referred two prosecutors back to his campaign donor, though neither ended up renting apartments from him, according to the report.

“Knowing that some members in my office were, like so many throughout the Cape and Islands, having difficulty searching for housing, I circulated this opportunity to my staff by way of an office email,” Galibois wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday. “The Ethics Commission found that I should not have used my office email as my action gave my staff advantage in the housing market.”

He said he did not receive “any financial or other benefit” from sharing his supporter’s advertisement with the office.

In the second violation identified by the Ethics Commission, Galibois utilized the Cape and Islands second assistant district attorney, working for around an hour on the state’s timeclock, to help run some personal PR on a motor vehicle incident.

A press release written by the ADA, sent out on official letterhead, came after the Barnstable Police Department issued a warning to Galibois for an improper turn, marked lane violation, and failure to file an accident report. The matter had “garnered media attention,” the commission said.

In his Facebook post, Galibois said he directed the prosecutor to write the press release because he wanted to “correct and clarify the circumstances” of the incident.

That objective may not have been achieved. Even a year later, parties did not appear to be in full agreement on the details.

The Ethics Commission, in the agreement that Galibois signed, said that “Galibois was involved in a motor vehicle accident … in his DA’s Office vehicle … while making an illegal U-turn.” But in his Facebook post Wednesday, Galibois referred to it as “a so-called accident.”

Last year, he told the Nantucket Current that “there is no damage to the car I was driving because there was no collision between the cars.”

Part of the issue, the commission found, was that Galibois used “public resources to promote a narrative of the accident favorable to himself.”

“Such use of valuable public resources to publicly promote one side of a private dispute and to protect one’s own financial and political interests is of substantial value,” the commission wrote, concluding that he “knowingly or with reason to know used his official position to secure for himself unwarranted privileges of substantial value.”

The panel’s executive director, David Wilson, said in a statement that “public resources are to be used for the public’s benefit.”

“The Ethics Commission found that I should not have used my staff to write and issue this press release. I have reached an agreement with the Ethic Commission with regard to their findings. They and I consider these matters closed. Nonetheless, I wanted to make you aware,” Galibois said in his Facebook post Wednesday.

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