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CONTACT: Evan Lips, communications director
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WOBURN — Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons said Monday he’s not surprised that a scheme involving illegal campaign donations made by a then-hopeful marijuana dispensary owner to a Middleborough Democrat running for state representative resulted in a mere slap on the wrist.
“This is Massachusetts, after all, where our own Attorney General Maura Healey is nowhere to be found when it comes to investigating her fellow Democrats for corruption,” Lyons said.
In December, the Office of Campaign & Political Finance agreed to fine current Middleborough Selectman Allin Frawley, a Democrat who ran for the 12th Bristol state representative seat, $2,000 “to resolve several campaign finance issues” — the same amount he was found to have illegally received in donations.
According to the disposition agreement reached between Frawley and OCPF Director Michael Sullivan, in June 2018, Frawley’s campaign reported receiving four individual contributions of the maximum $1,000 allowed under state law. Frawley, however, later admitted to OCPF that the $4,000 came from only two individuals — Tim and Lilli Shaw.
What OCPF did not disclose in the agreement is that Tim and Lilli Shaw at that time were seeking permits from the Middleborough Board of Selectmen to open a retail marijuana facility.
The Shaw’s Panacea Wellness facility opened for business for medical customers last month and aims to be a recreational retailer by March.
“I did not hear about this in the news and I did not see any link disclosed between Selectman Frawley and the marijuana dispensary in the OCPF report,” Lyons said. “We’ve seen the U.S. Department of Justice already expose this same pattern of corruption in Fall River, yet our own Massachusetts corruption watchdogs like AG Healey are always nowhere to be found.
“If I had to connect the dots by myself to find out what’s going on in Middleborough, you have to wonder how much more of this is happening in the rest of the state.”
In November 2018, current Republican state Rep. Norman Orrall of Lakeville defeated Selectman Frawley to win the 12th Bristol seat.
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