By: Tom Duggan – July 8, 2017
According to The Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance, (OCPF) an enforcement arm of the Secretary of State’s Office, Lawrence City Councilor Modesto Maldonado has taken more than $2,410 in campaign contributions that have not been accounted for.
Maldonado is running for mayor of Lawrence amid 8 other candidates.
State laws strictly govern the money that political candidates accept and how they spend that money. Every donation given to a political campaign over the amount of $50 must be reported the Secretary of State’s Office as well as who gave the donation, the donor’s address, and place of employment. Candidates must also report all expenditures over $50, as well as the items or services that were purchased, and whom they were purchased from. Candidates are not allowed to take corporate checks.
A PATTERN OF CAMPAIGN VIOLATIONS
Council President Modesto Maldonado was also fined by OCPF in 2016 for refusing to comply with state election laws. Maldonado, who publicly boasts that everyone must pay “their fare share” and comply with state law, was fined $125 for failing to file his political contributions at the end of last year.
Maldonado is no stranger to problems with state enforcement agencies, as Attorney General Maura Healey ruled in September of 2015 that Maldonado had violated the state’s open meeting law by having secret city council meetings with a quorum of councilors, and refused to release the minutes of those meetings.
On June 29, 2017, OCPF sent a letter to Maldonado demanding that he submit two outstanding campaign finance reports that were due showing Maldonado made financial deposits on 5/15/2017 for the amount of $57.66, and 5/31/2017 deposit in the amount of $5,780.00.
Maldonado was mandated to report the source of his donations by June 30, 2017. To Date he has not complied.
The OCPF letter of June 9th informed the mayoral candidate that he had failed to account for money he collected for his mayoral campaign.
“On May 18, 2017 a letter was sent to your committee requesting a deposit report for 4/10/17 totaling $3,545.00. Since that time your committee has filed three deposit reports for the month of April totaling $5,955.00 or $2,410.00 in excess of what your bank reports was actually deposited. Please review your account and provide correction and clarification as to when these additional receipts were actually deposited.”
“In accordance with a ruling by the Supervisor of Public Records, this letter and all correspondence relating thereto is a matter of public record as of the requested date listed below. As such, it will be placed in the committee’s public file at that time.”
Maldonado is seeking one of two spots in the September primary elections. City voters will elect a mayor in November. Current Mayor Dan Rivera is seeking a second, four year term. Lawrence has a two term limit on its’ city mayor.