Framingham Roofing Company Violated State Laws During Mayor Walsh Campaign

A Framingham roofing company agreed to pay $45,000 in fines to settle campaign contribution violation.

Credit: File photo.
Credit: File photo.

By Susan Petroni

Reliable Roofing and Sheet Metal, a Framingham-based company, made a $45,000 payment to the state’s general fund to settle campaign finance matters concerning prohibited corporate campaign contributions to Martin Walsh’s Boston mayoral committee and disguising the true source of those funds, according to a disposition agreement between company president and owner James O’Donovan and Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Personal Finance.

The Walsh committee had no knowledge that the contributions were made using corporate funds, and it has voluntarily donated the money to charity, according to a press release.

The Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) investigation into the matter started after a routine review of campaign finance reports.

The Massachusetts Office concluded that Reliable Roofing made corporate contributions to Walsh’s committee in 2013 by reimbursing or paying its employees or their relatives for making the contributions.  

The state’s campaign finance law prohibits corporate contributions to candidates and disguising the true source of campaign contributions.

Based on interviews with Reliable Roofing employees, persons associated with the company and a review of personal and corporate bank records, OCPF determined that $15,500 in contributions were disguised by the company to make contributions to the Walsh Committee. 

According to the agreement, two events were held on April 30, 2013, at the Stockyard Restaurant in Brighton: one was held to celebrate O’Donovan’s birthday and the other was to raise money for the Walsh Committee.  

At least 20 individuals associated with Reliable Roofing attended the events or made contributions totaling $10,500 to the committee on or about the same day as the events.  Another $5,000 was contributed by people who were apparently related to those individuals.

Each person interviewed by the state office indicated that he or she made a contribution using their own personal funds.  

However, the bank records subpoenaed by the Massachusetts Office of Campaign Finance indicated that some contributors deposited funds received from Reliable Roofing into their personal checking accounts either shortly before or shortly after the April 30 event.  Some of the payments were made in the exact amount of the reported contributions, and “reimbursement” was noted in the memo section of some checks.

As part of the agreement, Reliable Roofing and O’Donovan agreed not to make any independent expenditures, make contributions to independent expenditure PACs or to permit solicitation of contributions on its premises for any Massachusetts candidate or political committee, through Dec. 31, 2016.

The agreement was signed by O’Donovan and the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Personal Finance Director Michael J. Sullivan, and is available by clicking here.


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