Former State Representative, Campaign Treasurer Pleaded Guilty and Ordered to Pay Fines and Restitution for Failing to Properly Report Campaign Contributions, Expenses
BOSTON – A former State Representative and his campaign treasurer were ordered to pay fines and restitution today in connection with failing to report thousands of dollars worth of campaign contributions and failing to preserve receipts for thousands of dollars in purported campaign expenditures, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
Brian Wallace, age 62, former State Representative from the Fourth Suffolk District in Boston, pled guilty today in Suffolk Superior Court to charges of Failing to Report Campaign Contributions and Failing to Preserve Expense Records as a candidate. Timothy Duross, age 51, of Boston, was Wallace’s campaign treasurer at the time of the violations and also pled guilty today on similar charges, Failing to Report Campaign Contributions and Failing to Preserve Expense Records as a treasurer. After the defendants pled guilty, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frances A. McIntyre, at the defendants’ request, continued the case without a finding, for a probationary period of five years for Wallace and three years for Duross.
Judge McIntyre also ordered Wallace to pay $1,000 on the charge of Failing to Report Campaign Contributions and $35,329.11 in restitution, payable to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF), on the charge of Failing to Preserve Expense Records. Under the terms of the plea, Wallace will serve a probationary term of five years and is ordered to pay a minimum of $588 per month in restitution. Judge McIntyre ordered Duross to pay $1,000 on each of the two charges and under the terms of the plea, Duross will serve a probationary term of three years. The Commonwealth requested that the defendants plead guilty, be ordered to pay the instated fines and be ordered to each serve probation for a period of five years.
“The accurate reporting of campaign contributions and expenses is critical to ensuring the integrity of our campaign finance system and preventing the misuse of campaign funds,” AG Coakley said. “We will continue to work with the Office of Campaign Finance to enforce these laws.”
Wallace was elected as State Representative for the Fourth Suffolk District in Boston in 2003 and served until January 4, 2011. He did not seek re-election in 2010. Duross was appointed treasurer for the Committee to Elect Brian Wallace in 2001. The campaign finance laws of Massachusetts mandate that every candidate for political office and the treasurer for a political campaign committee maintain and keep detailed accounts of all the committee’s financial activity on behalf of the candidate, including all contributions and expenditures received or made on behalf of the candidate and their political campaign committee. During each calendar year, the committee files periodic reports with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) and must file additional reports during election years. These reports are made available to the public on OCPF’s website.
The charges stem from an investigation by the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) in 2009, which referred the case to the Attorney General’s Office for further investigation. That investigation revealed that Wallace and Duross failed to report $6,345 worth of campaign contributions in 2008 (17% of his total contributions). When confronted by OCPF and asked to provide backup documentation to support reported campaign expenditures, neither Wallace nor Duross were able to do so. Both candidates and committee treasurers are required under the law to maintain receipts for the campaign’s expenditures for six years after the relevant election.
A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Wallace and Duross on July 21, 2011. On August 9, 2011, Wallace and Duross were arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court. Wallace and Duross pled guilty to the charges on March 20, 2012 in Suffolk Superior Court and Judge McIntyre continued the case without a finding, instated fines and restitution, and ordered a probationary period of five years for Wallace and three years for Duross. Violations of the terms of probation will automatically result in a guilty finding.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jason Cofield of Attorney General Coakley’s Public Integrity Division with the assistance of Financial Investigator Jack D’Isidoro. Sarah Hartry, Legal Counsel for the Office of Campaign and Political Finance also investigated and assisted with this case. In February 2011, AG Coakley announced the formation of the Public Integrity Division—the first division in the office focused exclusively on cases of public corruption and fraud. The Division has been engaged in a number of investigations and prosecutions, including bringing indictments against the former Commissioner of Probation and a top aide of Treasurer Tim Cahill, and resolving an investigation into the former Middlesex Sheriff.