Here’s a few Democrats he missed. Should the AG be investigating OCPF instead?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Evan Lips, communications director
617-523-5005 ext. 245
WOBURN — According to news reports, retiring Office of Campaign Finance Director Michael Sullivan continues to hold the threat of making criminal referrals to Attorney General Maura Healey over the heads of two successful Worcester County Republicans.
If Sullivan does, it will mark his first criminal referral of an elected official in almost a decade, and first-ever official referral to Healey.
Meanwhile, records show that Democrats have been under federal and state investigations for campaign finance violations multiple times, with zero referrals made by the taxpayer-funded state agency whose sole directive is to monitor campaign finance activities.
- In February, Democratic state Rep. David Nangle pleaded guilty in federal court to using campaign funds beginning in 2014 to pay for gambling debts and even a golf club membership. Records show OCPF never made a single referral regarding Nangle’s pattern of campaign finance abuse, which federal investigators determined had been going on for at least six years.
- In 2017, a year after reaching a resolution with OCPF, former Democratic state Sen. Brian Joyce found himself facing a 113-count federal indictment for allegedly accepting more than $1 million in bribes and attempting to launder the money through his law office in the form of legal fees. Per a statement from a State Ethics Commission attorney after the Milton Democrat reached his original agreement with OCPF, and prior to his federal indictment: “Based upon our review of relevant documentation and interviews of certain parties, we are satisfied that this matter does not require further action on our part.”
- In 2014, former Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo was tagged by federal investigators as a “co-conspirator” in a massive state probation department investigation. The probe alleged a system where Democrat lawmakers placed friends and relatives in cushy probation department jobs via campaign bribes. Records show that between 2013 and 2016, DeLeo spent more than $600,000 in legal fees, money that came directly out of his campaign account.
- The lone instance where OCPF, under Sullivan, made a verbal but unofficial commitment to refer a Democratic lawmaker to Healey’s office occurred in March 2017 after a Boston Globe investigation found that former Democratic state Rep. Garrett Bradley’s law firm “illegally reimbursed lawyers and their spouses for up to $175,000 in campaign contributions” to a wide array of Democratic candidates and causes. Coincidentally, Healey herself happened to be a recipient of Bradley’s largesse, and recused herself from investigating the firm’s practices.
Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons suggested Tuesday that a more relevant task for the attorney general would be to investigate OCPF’s “blatant failure to investigate the pattern of alleged criminal campaign activity involving prominent Massachusetts Democrats that somehow was missed under Sullivan’s leadership.”
“It should be crystal-clear to anyone paying any attention at all that OCPF, under Director Sullivan, never acted on what we now know were campaign finance activity that eventually led to the filing of criminal complaints by federal authorities,” Lyons said. “And now, Sullivan is actively working to refer a campaign finance matter to Attorney General Healey involving two successful Republicans who followed the letter of the law, and made the same type of donations to political committees that Democrats have been making for generations.
“This is a classic case where the investigators should be the ones being investigated.”