BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A former aide for Mayor Catherine Pugh has been indicted for making illegal contributions to her campaign. Thousands of dollars were illegally contributed to the campaign of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, and prosecutors say it was her own campaign aide that did it.
Prosecutors accuse Gary Brown Jr, a former aide to Pugh, of illegally contributing thousands to Pugh’s campaign, and say it’s unknown where that money came from.
As Catherine Pugh was fighting off fierce competition in the Democratic Mayoral primary, new allegations accuse a legislative aide of helping pad her campaign war chest.
A Grand Jury has indicted Brown on six counts of making illegal campaign contributions. According to court documents obtained by WJZ, Brown is accused of depositing money into the accounts of his mother, stepfather and brother, and then immediately donating that money to the Pugh campaign in their names.
The funds totaling, $18,000 dollars.
“Individual contributors have a limit in which they can contribute. You cannot give money to somebody else to contribute in their name,” says Goucher College political expert Dr. Mileah Kromer.
Mayor Pugh commented on the news Monday afternoon, releasing this statement:
“I am saddened by the allegations, and just learned about the charges along with the public. Still, Mr. Brown is presumed innocent while the investigations continue. It would be inappropriate to provide any further comments.”
Maximum individual contributions in Maryland are $6,000 dollars, but Dr. Kromer says there’s no room for rules violations like this.
“Catherine Pugh did not need the money. If you look at her campaign finances, this was a well-funded campaign. And this was a very small part of the campaign,” she says.
The Mayor has released a statement saying she is saddened by the allegations.
“This indictment certainly has more ramifications for the individual rather than the larger Pugh administration,” says Kromer.
Gary Brown Jr. was set to be sworn in this week as a state delegate — that swearing-in is now canceled.
According to campaign finance reports, Brown only made a legitimate donation to the Pugh campaign of $300 dollars.
Brown potentially faces up to a year in jail, and a $25,000 dollar fine.
Brown also worked for Pugh as a legislative aide when she was a member of Maryland’s General Assembly.