BOSTON (SHNS) – A former state programmer in the Executive Office of Education has paid a $70,000 civil penalty and admitted to violating the state’s conflict of interest law in connection with consultant hires that led to her family’s company receiving substantial recruiting fees.

The State Ethics Commission on Wednesday announced the disposition agreement involving Radhika Uppaluri, who also held positions in her family’s company, Shri Radhe Krishna Corporation (SRK).

As a state employee between 2017 and 2019, Uppaluri hired four IT consultants recruited through SRK, resulting in the company receiving $124,832 in recruiting fees, according to the commission.

“When hiring the consultants, Uppaluri failed to follow EOE’s standard procedure of posting the positions on the Commonwealth’s official Commbuys procurement system and hiring through an approved vendor,” the commission reported. “Uppaluri instead hired the four consultants through SRK, which was not an approved vendor.”

The commission said Uppalari violated the state conflict of interest law that bans state employees from participating, in their official capacity, in matters in which they know that they, their immediate family, or their business organization have a financial interest.

Uppaluri’s husband served as SRK’s president, treasurer and secretary in 2018 and 2019, and “at all relevant times” Uppaluri was an account owner and signatory for SRK’s financial account, according to the agreement. She resigned from EOE in July 2019 when officials “became aware of her private involvement with SRK.”

A press release from the commission did not say whether the company was able to keep the fees, which totaled about $55,000 more than the civil penalty, and a commission spokesman did not respond to a question about the status of the fee payments.