Court clerk violated campaign law, must pay $2K

April 18, 2012
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Maura Hennigan, the clerk of the Suffolk County criminal court system and a JP resident, violated campaign finance law last year and must pay $2,000, the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance ruled yesterday.

Hennigan had court employees label envelopes intended for sending out her political campaign materials, with the work done in the court building during the workday on Nov. 22, 2011, according to an OCPF letter sent to the clerk and obtained by the Gazette. Such political work by public employees violates state campaign finance laws, according to OCPF.

Hennigan said in a written statement that she was unaware of the envelope-labeling by employees and was not involved in it.

“I have an impeccable record of more than 30 years,” wrote Hennigan, who previously served as a Boston city councilor. “I was not present nor did I instruct employees to engage in this activity. I have cooperated fully with OCPF since I first learned of the incident and agreed to reimburse the Commonwealth for the employees’ time. I regret that this occurred and will be providing training to all members of my staff on campaign finance laws”

“The activities did not comply with the campaign finance law,” said OCPF spokesperson Jason Tait in a Gazette interview. He said that Hennigan already paid the $2,000, which pays back the court for the employees’ time and covers OCPF costs.

Hennigan is running for re-election this year and has at least two possible opponents, including former employee Robert Dello Russo.

For more on this story, see the April 27 Gazette.

Updated version: This version includes a statement from Hennigan and clarifies the $2,000 payment.