By Andy Metzger

State House News Service

BOSTON -- If elected governor, Treasurer Steven Grossman said both he and his sons, the managing owners of the family's marketing business, would comply with all ethical requirements as he did upon winning the treasurer's seat in 2010.

Grossman said he has recused himself when Treasury matters involved Century Bank and Trust Company, which has lent "significant amounts of money" to Grossman Marketing Group, and the law firm Goulston & Storrs where his "longtime, very close friend and personal attorney" Joel Sherman was a director.

A Democratic candidate for the Corner Office, Grossman told the News Service he would consult again with the State Ethics Commission before taking office and would follow whatever steps the agency recommends.

"If that recommendation was X, Y or Z, I would follow that recommendation and be guided by that, wherever it took me. And the boys, my sons, have indicated that they would follow the same recommendation," Grossman said after a meeting of the Lottery Commission Tuesday morning.

Grossman said the commission advised him to disclose his interest in Grossman Marketing Group when the company's business creates the appearance of a conflict of interest or triggers other required disclosures.

Grossman said he has made 23 disclosures. The Boston Globe reported Monday the number of Grossman's disclosures is "among the most of any statewide elected official."

When he won election as treasurer in 2010, Grossman retained a sizable ownership of his family business, a former envelope company turned marketing group. Early in the treasurer's campaign, Grossman stepped down as president, and upon becoming state treasurer he resigned his position as chairman, turning leadership of the corporation over to his sons David and Ben.

"I own 49.65 percent of the company. It's non-voting stock. I don't have a role on the board. I don't have a role in managing or governing the company," Grossman told the News Service. He said his two sons own 25 percent each and two sisters own the remaining 0.35 percent.

Grossman also said when he took office he coordinated with then-Inspector General Greg Sullivan on the best procurement practices. The Treasury assembles a team, which grade bids on quality and cost before making a recommendation to the treasurer, Grossman said.

"I've accepted the recommendations 100 percent of the time, with the exception of the ones where I've recused where obviously it wouldn't come to me," Grossman said.

Sullivan, a former Democratic lawmaker who is now research director at the Pioneer Institute, said in a statement that Grossman was uniquely "scrupulous" in Treasury procurement.

"The Treasurer's Office under Steve Grossman was virtually unique among state agencies in that it routinely sought procurement training for its staff and officials, and routinely submitted procurements in advance for review and recommendation by the Inspector General's procurement experts," Sullivan said in a statement provided by the Treasury. "I never saw a government agency that carried out public procurement practices in a more scrupulous, transparent, and ethical manner than the Treasurer's Office under Steve Grossman."

While declining to "speculate" on what steps Grossman or the company might take to comply with ethical requirements as governor, Grossman said it would be one of his first steps if he wins election.

"I think it would be appropriate when I'm elected governor to go back to the Ethics Commission," Grossman said.

In August, Grossman wrote to the Ethics Commission to inquire whether Grossman Marketing Group could do business with the Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium, which includes the University of Massachusetts. The Globe reported the marketing company also does business with the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics - which have business with the Lottery Commission that Grossman leads - as well as the powerful law firm Mintz Levin and the investment bank J.P. Morgan.

The Democratic field shrunk earlier this year when Sen. Dan Wolf, an owner of Cape Air, was forced to suspend his gubernatorial campaign because the Ethics Commission said the airline's relationship with the Massachusetts Port Authority created a conflict. The commission is now considering a revision to the rules, though Wolf, who almost resigned his Senate seat to keep within ethical bounds, determined any decision would be too late to mount a campaign for governor.