John Donelan and Joseph Donelan, co-owners of Donelan's Supermarkets in Littleton, have made a $25,000 payment to the state's general fund to resolve campaign finance violations for disguising the true source of contributions and making excess contributions, according to a March 22 disposition agreement between the Donelans and OCPF.
The Donelans also agreed not to make any political contributions until after Dec. 31, 2015, according to the disposition agreement.
In 2009, 2010 and 2012, the Donelans provided $8,000 in personal funds to intermediaries, family members and personal friends, who then donated the money in their own names to two municipal candidates in Littleton. The campaign finance law prohibits disguising the true origin of campaign contributions.
The contributions made by the Donelans in the names of others also violated Section 7A of the campaign finance law, which limits an individual's contribution to a candidate to $500 per calendar year. The total amount of excess contributions to the two municipal candidates was $5,000.
In total, the Donelans used intermediaries to contribute $5,000 in 2009 and 2012 to the Committee to Elect Alex McCurdy, and $3,000 in 2010 to the Committee to Elect Rich Carter, according to the disposition agreement. Both men were candidates for selectman in Littleton.
McCurdy and Carter had no direct knowledge that the contributions they received were made with funds provided by the Donelans until they were contacted by OCPF, according to the disposition agreement. OCPF has issued letters to McCurdy and Carter addressing the issue of receiving disguised contributions from the Donelans. To resolve the matter, each has made a $500 payment to the state with personal funds.
The Donelans acknowledged that their motivation for using intermediaries to make campaign contributions was to remain publicly neutral in Littleton's local elections, according to the disposition agreement.
A disposition agreement is a voluntary written agreement entered into between the subjects of a review and OCPF, in which the subjects agree to take certain specific actions. The agreement between OCPF and the Donelans is posted to the OCPF website at http://www.mass.gov/ocpf/actions.htm