Mass. Lt. Gov. broke law, regulators say

Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Tim Murray (D) announced last week that he would not run for governor in 2014. This might have something to do with it:

State campaign finance regulators have concluded that Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray violated state law by accepting political donations from the disgraced former Chelsea housing director, and they’ve asked the attorney general to conduct a criminal probe of Murray as well as key members of his campaign team.

A Boston Globe investigation found last year that Michael McLaughlin was a key fundraiser and campaign organizer for Murray -- up until the former Chelsea housing director resigned in the face of outrage over his $360,000 salary. As a federally-funded appointee, McLaughlin was legally barred from most political activity. He has already been charged with hiding his high pay from state and federal regulators and State Attorney General ­Martha Coakley is investigating his fundraising.

Coakley has also been considered a potential gubernatorial candidate, although she said this week that she is focused on her own reelection as attorney general. State Treasurer Steve Grossman is considering a bid. Gov. Deval Patrick (D) is eligible to seek a third term, but will not.

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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Rachel Weiner | January 24, 2013