• Arraignment date set for former Chelsea Housing Authority director


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- The former executive director of the Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA) has been indicted for unlawfully soliciting contributions from state employees and other individuals to support multiple campaigns, including that of former Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced Friday.

    Michael McLaughlin, 67, of Dracut, was indicted by a grand jury on charges of unlawful solicitation by a public employee (four counts), solicitation in a public building (four counts), and conspiracy to solicit in a public building (four counts). He is scheduled to appear in Suffolk Superior Court on Sept. 5 for arraignment.

    The indictments stem from an initial investigation by the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, which referred the case to the Attorney General's Office. The Attorney's General's Office launched their investigation in 2012.

    Authorities alleged that from 2008 through 2010, McLaughlin directed a CHA employee to seek contributions from fellow CHA employees, and others associated with the CHA, to benefit the Murray Committee.

    McLaughlin allegedly targeted certain employees and made staff donate money and attend Murray Committee fundraisers. He also allegedly reached out to people in his personal and professional networks for contributions.

    All the funds collected from CHA employees were then reportedly delivered to McLaughlin with a list of those who contributed.

    McLaughlin also allegedly solicited CHA employees to contribute to Israel Reyes' campaign, a 2009 Lawrence mayoral candidate. He asked them to perform political work for Murray and Reyes, including holding signs, working at the polls, and other organizational tasks.

    Former Lieutenant Governor Murray and his campaign agreed to pay $80,000 Friday over allegations they accepted these unlawful contributions, and admitted that the campaign did not provide proper oversight to prevent McLaughlin and another public employee from engaging in these solicitations on his behalf.

    McLaughlin served as Executive Director of CHA from 2000 until the fall of 2011.

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