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Democrats file ethics complaint against Brown

The Massachusetts Democratic Party filed an ethics complaint against Republican US Senator Scott Brown just hours before he was due to debate his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren Wednesday night, claiming he has violated ethics law by failing to divulge a complete list of the clients for whom he has done legal work.

They allege in the complaint that Brown was required to disclose any sources of compensation over $5,000. His 2009 candidate report, they say, showed income from his law practice, but did not list specific clients.

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Private legal work by each candidate, both of whom are lawyers, has become a point of contention in the race, with Brown criticizing Warren’s work for corporate clients and demanding that she release her client list. Warren released a partial list of cases just minutes before the last debate.

During that debate, Brown asserted that he already had divulged his full list of clients -- although he, too, had only named sample clients. And on Tuesday, Brown’s campaign manager said he would not release a full list until Warren did.

Brown spokeswoman Alleigh Marre said Wednesday in a statement, “Elizabeth Warren and her allies are wasting taxpayer money with this frivolous and baseless complaint which seeks to do nothing more than distract from Warren’s record of getting rich working for big corporations against middle class workers.”

Stephanie Ebbert can be reached at ebbert@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @stephanieebbert.
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