BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Former Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray has agreed to pay $80,000 to settle allegations he violated campaign finance laws.
The Attorney General’s office says Murray’s campaign raised a total of $50,000 in illegal contributions, all of which will be paid back. Some of that money was raised by former Chelsea Housing Authority director Michael McLaughlin.
Read: The Settlement (.pdf)
Coakley also announced indictments Thursday charging McLaughlinwith unlawfully soliciting contributions from state workers for Murray and other political campaigns.
McLaughlin’s arraignment was scheduled for Sept. 5. His lawyer, Thomas Hoopes, declined to comment.
McLaughlin is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for under-reporting his salary in annual housing authority budgets from 2008 to 2011 and submitting the false figures to state and federal regulators.
A Suffolk County grand jury indicted McLaughlin on Thursday on four counts of unlawful solicitation by a public employee and four counts of conspiracy to solicit in a public building, Coakley said.
Prosecutors said McLaughlin directed a housing authority worker to collect contributions for Murray from other employees, and that he asked employees and others associated with the agency to attend a trio of fundraisers McLaughlin organized for Murray in Methuen.
The remainder of the funds came from a Department of Transportation supervisor, who was not named.
In both instances, Murray admitted that he failed to exercise reasonable care to make sure campaign finance laws were followed.
In addition to the $50,000, Murray’s campaign committee faces a $20,000 fine and Murray faces a $10,000 fine from his personal funds. Murray will not face criminal charges.
Murray will also have to dissolve his political committee and will be banned from any fundraising or political committee for two years.
Murray took to his Facebook page Thursday and released a statement.
The statement says in part:
As I have said from the start, I never asked Michael McLaughlin to solicit funds for my committee, because I know that would have been wrong. The finding that Michael McLaughin violated the law by asking people to donate to my committee is not shocking today given what we now know about his character and his criminal actions. As a result of his criminal activity, many people have been hurt, most importantly many good people in Chelsea who simply sought dignified and affordable housing for themselves and their families. If I knew in 2006 what I know today about Mr. McLaughlin, I would have never had any association with him at all.
Nevertheless, Mr. McLaughlin’s behavior does not change the fact that I am ultimately responsible for administrative oversights made by my committee. While neither I nor any member of my committee was aware that Mr. McLaughlin was making such solicitations, we should have been more vigilant in monitoring the situation.
Murray resigned from his post at the State House on June 2 to take a job as head of Worcester Chamber of Commerce.
At the time, sources told WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson that Murray’s salary would be more than $200,000 per year.
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