The state ethics commission has issued a show cause order alleging Aquinnah selectman Gary Haley violated conflict of interest laws during electrical conduit work done at the Aquinnah Circle, including choosing himself for the work, overbilling the town and approving town payment to himself.

Mr. Haley, a master electrician by trade, was elected selectman in 2016 and has served two terms. He also serves as the town electrical inspector — he was previously cleared for that role by the ethics commission after disclosures were filed, according to town administrator Jeffrey Madison.

Reached by phone Wednesday morning, Mr. Madison declined to comment on the show cause order. Mr. Haley could not be immediately reached for comment.

According to a press release from the ethics commission’s enforcement division issued Wednesday, the citation dates to a 2018 project to bury underground all overhead utility wires at the Circle. The project was part of a first step in a broader beautification plan for the area, funded largely by Community Preservation Act money to improve the town’s unique viewshed over the Gay Head Cliffs, Philbin Beach and the Gay Head moraine.

In the release, the ethics commission said Mr. Haley acted as coordinator on the project while serving as selectman, choosing himself to personally install conduits for two utility companies to bury their wires underground, overbilling the town by $4,000 and subsequently approving the payment himself — all of which constitute state ethics violations.

“The conflict of interest law prohibits municipal employees from participating officially in matters in which they have a financial interest,” the press release states. “The order alleges that Mr. Haley violated this prohibition by, as a selectman, choosing himself to perform the conduit installation work and by then approving the town expense warrant that contained his invoice for the work.”

The show cause order issued Wednesday also alleges that Mr. Haley submitted an invoice to the town charging $17,445 for the installation of approximately 1,900 feet of conduit pipe in May of 2018. But the invoice overstated the duration of work by approximately 22 hours, the order alleges, with Mr. Haley billing the town for laborers he neither paid nor hired.

“The law also prohibits public employees from submitting a false or fraudulent claim to their public employer,” the press release states. “Haley allegedly violated this prohibition.”

The project to bury the utility wires was completed by early 2019, with initial cost estimates hovering around $135,000. Beautification work was approved at a 2016 annual town meeting.

The order further alleges that Mr. Haley violated conflict of interest laws by acquiring a financial interest in the town’s contract for electrical work. Municipal employees are prohibited from having a vested interest in town contracts.

Subjects of a show cause order from the state ethics commission are given an opportunity to resolve the matter through a disposition agreement before the order is filed.

The commission will schedule a public hearing on the allegations against Mr. Haley within 90 days, the press release said.

Civil penalties up to $10,000 can be issued for violations of the conflict of interest law.

Mr. Haley has served as the town electrical inspector since 2019. Mr. Madison said Mr. Haley had received an opinion from the state ethics commission saying that he could fill the role while serving as a selectman.