State claims excess contributions received
By Josh Resnek
The DeMaria Jr. Campaign Committee apparently owes $7,050 for excessive contributions it apparently received from 9 individual contributors during 2022, according to the Office for Campaign and Finance following a review by the agency of donations made to the mayor.
Nine different contributors gave more than the legally allowed amount to the DeMaria Jr. Campaign Committee, OCPF alleges.
OCPF instructed the DeMaria Committee that contributions are limited to $1,000 a year per individual for a candidate’s committee.
The DeMaria Committee was given until December 1 to answer OCPF’s review and or to pay back the money that had been improperly accepted.
The mayor was sent a copy of the OCPF report.
The mayor did not respond to the Leader Herald’s inquiry about whether or not the excessive payments had been returned.
This OCPF review followed another instance of campaign contribution irregularities identified by the state campaign watchdog in a report issued last week.
That report detailed an investigation into donations made by local businessman Greg Antonelli to the DeMaria Campaign with illegally funneled campaign contributions made to the campaign through family members, according to a public statement issued by OCPF.
Antonelli paid a $6,000 fine to satisfy the requirements of the OCPF investigation.
In a detailed communication received by the Leader Herald from OCPF, 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 new OCPF revelations about alleged excessive contributions made to the mayor’s campaign fund is expected to cost the campaign $7,050 in contributions that must be returned to those who made them.