O'Malley donates tainted campaign funds to hunger relief group

January 03, 2012|by Annie Linskey

The $7,000 in campaign funds given to Gov. Martin O'Malley by a tax evader and former political appointee was sent today to Farmers and Hunters Helping the Hungry, said Rick Abbruzzese, a spokesman for the governor.

The tainted political donation was given by Richard Stewart, a Prince George's County businessman who pleaded guilty last month to failing to pay nearly $4 million in social security and payroll taxes for his employees. Stewart also was one of O'Malley's appointees to the Governor's Redistricting Advisory Committee and on the board of the Stadium Authority.   

Maryland's Republican Party noted between 2003 and 2008, the period in which Stewart was not paying taxes, the businessman donated nearly $75,000 to Democratic elected officials and called on the funds to be returned.

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings also said he would give the money he received to charity. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown returned cash he received.

The charity O'Malley selected encourages hunters and farmers to donate any extra food to soup kitchens. "It tracks with his goals for a more sustainable future and to end childhood hunger in Maryland," said Abbruzzese in an email. 

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