Former Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray and his campaign committee will pay $80,000 in a settlement involving allegations of illegal campaign donation collections in the Merrimack Valley and Worcester area, Attorney General Martha Coakley's office announced Thursday.
In the disposition agreement entered today with the Attorney General’s Office and OCPF, the Lieutenant Governor admitted that he did not exercise proper oversight to prevent two different public employees from soliciting campaign contributions on his behalf in connection with fundraising events in the Merrimack Valley and Worcester area.
An investigation reportedly revealed $50,000 in campaign contributions solicited by state employees. The AG's investigation ignited in late 2012 when Michael McLaughlin, then executive director of the Chelsea Housing Authority, was accused of illegally soliciting money.
During the 2006 gubernatorial campaign, Murray reportedly enlisted Michael McLaughlin as a fundraiser, despite the fact that McLaughlin was a state employee and was not allowed to solicit money for campaigns. McLaughlin then organized multiple fundraising events in Methuen between 2008 and 2010, Coakley's office reported.
In Worcester, a Department of Transportation manager organized multiple fundraisers between 2008 and 2010.
"Based on our investigation, we allege that two separate public employees unlawfully solicited tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions for the former Lieutenant Governor,” Coakley said in a statement. "The Lieutenant Governor will now pay back those contributions as well as pay a significant fine."
As part of the settlement with Coakley's office and the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, Murray will pay back that $50,000 in addition to a $30,000 penalty, $10,000 of which will come from Murray himself. Murray's campaign committee must dissolve, and Murray will not be allowed to work for any political fundraising committees for two years.