Former Pugh aide charged with breaking Maryland campaign finance laws

Gary Brown Jr. was nominated for Md. delegate
Posted at 11:12 AM, Jan 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-10 06:11:58-05

A former legislative aide to then-Sen. Catherine Pugh has been indicted for alleged illegal contributions to Pugh's mayoral campaign. 

Gary Brown, Jr., a member of the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee, is charged with depositing cash into the bank accounts of his mother, stepfather and brother, then contributing that money in their names to Pugh's campaign. 

Brown allegedly contributed $18,000 between Jan. 13 and April 9, 2016, according to a release from the Office of the State Prosecutor. The maximum amount someone is allowed to contribute under state law is $6,000. 

"Election laws are in place to maintain the integrity of the electoral process and foster transparency in the regulation of campaign contributions," State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt said in a news release. "Illegal straw contributions in names other than one's own to evade such laws cannot be tolerated."

Pugh won the Democratic primary, and went on to win the mayoral election in November. 

Brown was nominated for the Maryland House of Delegates to replace Barbara A. Robinson, who took Pugh's place in the state Senate.

House Speaker Michael Busch's office announced Monday that Brown's swearing-in, initially scheduled for Tuesday, has been canceled in light of the indictment.

Pugh released a statement saying she is "saddened" by the allegations and just learned about the charges against Brown. 

"Still, Mr. Brown is presumed innocent while the investigations continue. It would be inappropriate to provide any further comments," Pugh's statement read. 

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