Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Maryland, said Wednesday that he gave $34,000 to charities this week that he previously received in campaign donations tied to a recently indicted insurance executive.
Aides said the contributions received between 2009 and 2012 included money received directly from Jeffrey B. Cohen of Baltimore County, as well as from companies he controlled and from other people whom Cohen solicited on Ulman’s behalf.
The donations were all received prior to Ulman’s selection in June 2013 as the running mate of Anthony G. Brown, the state’s current lieutenant governor. Brown received no contributions directly from Cohen, aides said.
In Maryland, candidates are generally prohibited from giving campaign funds to charity, but the State Board of Elections has made exceptions in cases were the money is deemed to be tainted.
Aides to the Brown-Ulman campaign said Ulman did not want to give the money back to Cohen and received permission from the elections board to make donations to the Maryland Crime Victims Network and the United Way of Central Maryland.
“Several weeks ago, when we first received word of these allegations, we began the process of requesting a waiver from the Board of Elections ... rather than returning the money to Mr. Cohen,” said Susan Smith-Bauk, Ulman’s finance consultant.
Cohen, the former chairman of Indemnity Insurance Corp., was indicted last month on federal charges. He has been accused of misrepresenting the cash the company had available to offer liability insurance to nightclubs and other entities in the entertainment industry.
Howard County officials said Wednesday that the county had no dealings of any kind with Cohen or his insurance compnay, based on a review of records dating to 2009.
Brown faces Larry Hogan, an Anne Arundel County businessman, in the November general election.