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Coakley announces $80,000 agreement with former lieutenant governor

By Bryan Cohen | Aug 30, 2013

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) -- Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley on Thursday announced a disposition agreement has been reached with former Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray and his campaign committee, resolving allegations he received unlawfully solicited contributions.

Murray admitted he did not exercise proper oversight to keep two different public employees from soliciting campaign contributions on his behalf during fundraising events in the Worcester and Merrimack Valley area. Murray's committee allegedly received $50,000 in illegal contributions during the events.

"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."

Michael McLaughlin, the former executive director of the Chelsea Housing Authority, allegedly engaged in illegal fundraising to benefit the Murray campaign.

As a compensated public employee, McLaughlin was barred from fundraising activities but allegedly became a field representative and liaison for Murray's campaign.

In a related matter, McLaughlin was indicted Thursday for allegedly unlawfully soliciting contributions from state employees to support multiple political campaigns.

The Murray campaign also acknowledged that a supervisory employee of the Department of Transportation helped organize and solicit donations as part of three fundraisers between 2008 and 2010.

Multiple DOT employees allegedly contributed to Murray's campaign, in violation of campaign finance laws.

Under the terms of the agreement, Murray will refund $50,000 in illegal contributions to the committee and pay a $30,000 penalty to the state, including $10,000 from his personal funds.

Murray also will dissolve his political committee and will not serve as an officer or as a fundraising-related employee of any political committee for a two year period.

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