By Josh Resnek
An investigation into donations made by local businessman Greg Antonelli to the campaign of Mayor Carlo DeMaria reveals Antonelli illegally funneled campaign contributions to the DeMaria campaign through family members.
In a detailed communication received by the Leader Herald from the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance, Antonelli was shown to have asked two relatives to each make $1,000 contributions after he had donated the same maximum sum allowable under campaign finance law.
Antonelli apparently got his sister-in-law and his elderly mother-in-law to make donations from their personal checking accounts and then reimbursed them for the $1,000 contributions, according to a Stephanie Ebbert story in the Boston Globe.
“You subsequently provided cash from your personal account to each family member to reimburse them for the contributions made in their names to the Committee,” OCPF Director William C. Campbell wrote in a letter to Antonelli last week.
In his letter, Campbell said OCPF believes the mayor’s campaign committee did not have any knowledge that the contributions were reimbursed. The committee agreed to disgorge $2,000 from the funds.
Antonelli was among the subjects of a Boston Globe investigation in May detailing how certain influential people with ties to DeMaria are viewed as untouchable in Everett. The story revealed that Antonelli’s companies had won more than $8 million on contracts for an array of city jobs after exposing city residents to asbestos in a construction job he had ordered done haphazardly.
The story also noted that Antonelli was voting in Everett, though he lives in Lynnfield, and that his brother, Christopher, was voting in Everett though he lives in Hong Kong.
That story was reported by Globe reporter Ebbert. Following the story, an Everett resident challenged both Antonelli’s voter residency, said Danielle Pietrantonio, the city’s director of elections, according to Ebbert. However, both brothers removed themselves from the voter registration rolls before the hearing could be held, she said.
The OCPF investigation and the subsequent Globe piece comes at a time when the administration is being looked at from a number of directions by a variety of law enforcement agencies.
Nevertheless, the look into Antonelli’s illegal contributions, and revelations that OCPF questioned him and that he and his relatives apparently answered questions about illegal contributions caught many by surprise.
So too did the admission by OCPF Director William Campbell that Antonelli’s admissions led him to believe the case is closed – and that everyone involved has learned from the experience.
Antonelli is the closest member of the mayor’s inner circle.