Murray’s close ties to Chelsea housing chief

SOURCES: Campaign finance records, McLaughlin’s cellphone records, interviews

Former Chelsea housing chief Michael E. McLaughlin talked frequently with the lieutenant governor and his chief fund-raiser, Kellie O’Neill, in the weeks leading up to a June 25, 2010, fund-raiser in Methuen.

McLaughlin shows his support
McLaughlin has played a key role in organizing at least three fund-raisers for Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray even though, as a federally funded employee, McLaughlin was not permitted to raise funds for politicians. McLaughlin also brought Chelsea Housing Authority tenants, employees, and board members to a campaign rally for Murray and Deval Patrick.

Murray fund-raisers at Jackson’s Restaurant, Methuen

McLaughlin helped organize fund-raisers for Murray at the restaurant in April and November 2008. In April, at least 34 people with ties to McLaughlin donated $6,750 to Murray, records show. Less than three weeks after the fund-raiser, McLaughlin’s son Matthew started a $60,000 state job with Murray’s recommendation.

Murray fund-raiser at The Irish Cottage restaurant, Methuen


McLaughlin collected the checks at the June 25, 2010, fund-raiser, and introduced Murray to guests. Donors included at least 23 Chelsea Housing Authority employees, lawyers, accountants, and their relatives. Employees said they gave $100 apiece after someone stuffed information about the event in their mailboxes at work. “I didn’t want to look like the one who didn’t (contribute),” said one.

Rally for Murray and Patrick at the Sumner G. Whittier School, Everett

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In the final days of Patrick and Murray’s first campaign in 2006, McLaughlin provided buses to transport about 60 senior citizens to the Everett rally, while also pressuring his employees to attend. “Mike made it clear we had to go to this rally and that we had to bring our families,” said one employee.