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SEC orders former Cahill aide to pay $100k civil penalty

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered Neil M.M. Morrison, a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs and ex-top state treasury aide to Timothy P. Cahill, to pay a $100,000 civil penalty, citing what the agency said was his role in a pay-to-play campaign fundraising scheme for Cahill.

The agency’s order also bars Morrison from working in the securities industry for five years as part of the negotiated settlement that brings to an end a two-and-a-half year investigation into his activities in raising campaign funds and participating as a chief advisor in Cahill’s campaign for governor in the 2010 election.

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SEC regulations sharply restrict public-finance bankers from contributing to political figures and elected officials who issue public bonds.

The settlement alleges that Morrison, who served as Cahill’s top treasury deputy before joining Goldman Sach as a vice-president in its Boston office in 2008, was ‘’substantially engaged” in the treasurer’s political campaign at time when he was soliciting bond work from his office.

“Morrison’s campaign work gave him complete access to Cahill and his staff, who often provided him with information about the office’s internal deliberations involving underwriter selection,’’ the settlement agreement claims.

At the same, the settlement claims, Morrison was using Goldman Sachs resources, during office hours, to provide “valuable undisclosed ‘in-kind’ campaign contributions to Cahill attributable to Goldman Sachs.’’

It also accused Morrison of soliciting campaign contributions for Cahill and providing a hidden a campaign contributions when Goldman Sach was ‘’engaged in or seeking to engage in municipal underwriting business’’ with the treasurer’s office.

“I don’t know about it, you have to talk to Neil,’’ Cahill said when reached on his cell phone Thursday.

Morrison was not immediately available for comment.

Frank Phillips can be reached at
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