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Golf and gifts cost National Grid $25,000 in ethics fine

National Grid has paid a $25,000 fine to settle an ethics case involving rounds of golf and meals it gave to state employees.

The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics said National Grid between 2002 and 2010 gave gifts, including meals and rounds of golf totaling more than $7,000, to employees of the Department of Public Service, the administrative arm of the Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities.

National Grid agreed to fully cooperate with the Joint Commission on any related investigation involving the gifts and to provide supplemental annual ethics training to its employees for the next four years.

The Joint Commission said its enforcement actions stemmed from an investigation and July 2012 report by the state Office of the Inspector General, and a subsequent investigation by Joint Commission staff. National Grid reported the gifts after learning of them through an internal audit.

Two former Department of Public Service employees, Joseph Klesin and Carlos Ortiz, paid fines of $1,500 and $1,000, respectively, for accepting gifts of rounds of golf and meals from National Grid in violation of ethics laws. They resigned from their jobs in early 2012.