Tim Murray to pay fines for illegal fundraising

WORCESTER, Mass. (WHDH)  — Former Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray has acknowledged that he and his campaign committee will pay $80,000 to resolve allegations that he accepted campaign money collected illegally.

“At the end of the day I’m responsible for my committee and we acknowledge that we failed to use a standard of reasonable care related to these limited number of instances. Nonetheless, I’m taking responsibility. As Harry Truman said, 'the buck stops here' and that’s what this settlement is about,” Murray said.

The Attorney General’s Office said Murray did not exercise proper oversight to prevent two public employees from soliciting $50,000 in the Merrimack Valley and Worcester areas.

One of those public employees is Michael McLaughlin, the former head of the Chelsea Public Housing Authority.

As a public employee, McLaughlin was barred from fundraising activities.

McLaughlin was recently sentenced to three years in prison for inflating his public salary.

Under the terms of the agreement Murray’s campaign committee will repay $50,000 in illegally obtained campaign funds plus $20,000 in fines.

Murray will pay a $10,000 fine out of his own pocket, all of the money due in two weeks.

While Murray said he accepts responsibility he had harsh words for McLaughlin; saying he never authorized McLaughlin to solicit campaign money for him.

“Mike McLaughlin is a convicted felon; he lied to a whole host of people. Most importantly, what he did penalized the good people in Chelsea who simply sought dignified housing. You learn the hard way, and a lot of us have because of his misrepresentations and lies,” Murray said.

Earlier this year, Murray resigned as Lieutenant Governor to accept a position as the head of the Worcester area Chamber of Commerce, Thursday, the chamber’s board of directors put out a statement saying they still have confidence in him.