Gregory T. Antonelli, a well-connected contractor and developer in Everett, has been fined $6,000 for illegally funneling excessive campaign contributions to Mayor Carlo DeMaria through family members, according to the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
Antonelli acknowledged asking two relatives to each make $1,000 contributions to the mayor after he had donated the same sum, the maximum amount allowable under campaign finance law, OCPF reported.
The contributions were made using checks drawn on the personal checking accounts of the named contributors, the letter said. The contributions came from his sister-in-law and elderly mother-in-law, the Globe has learned.
“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.
Campaign finance law limits contributions to $1,000 per candidate per calendar year and prohibits political donors from making contributions in other people’s names in order to disguise the origin of the contribution.
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 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 story also noted that Antonelli was voting in Everett, though he lives in Lynnfield, and that his brother, Christopher, was voting in Everett though he lives in Hong Kong.
Following the story, an Everett resident challenged both Antonellis’ voter residency, said Danielle Pietrantonio, the city’s director of elections. However, both brothers removed themselves from the voter registration rolls before the hearing could be held, she said.
Antonelli did not immediately respond to a request for comment.