Rep. Mark Cusack, D-Braintree, said on Tuesday night that he made an error in listing someone as his campaign treasurer who, since Cusack's initial election bid in 2010, went on to serve as a Braintree employee.
"I take full ownership of this," Cusack said in an interview.
Cusack said he discovered the mistake, reported first by the Boston Globe, on Monday while preparing for this year's race and immediately notified the Massachusetts Office of Campaign & Political Finance. State law prohibits a government employee from serving as a campaign treasurer.
Christopher Griffin, assistant to Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan, was listed as Cusack's treasurer for the reporting periods from Jan. 1, 2010 through Dec. 31, 2011. He was hired by the Town of Braintree in March 2011.
On Tuesday, the Massachusetts GOP called on Cusack to return the $54,000 he has raised since his initial election bid, according to the Globe. During the period when Griffin was listed as treasurer and a town employee, Cusack raised $19,000.
Cusack said that after Griffin was hired by the town he did not serve in any fundraising capacity. The first-term lawmaker said that on Monday he updated his campaign finance filings to reflect the appointment of a new treasurer, John Neelon, a Braintree attorney.
"It was an oversight error," Cusack said, reiterating that he will not return any campaign funds unless instructed to by the OCPF. "It was not done maliciously. That money was raised in full compliance with the law."
Griffin, 25, studied political science at Merrimack College. Cusack said Griffin is "a great kid, a fine young man" and that he appreciates his past service.
"It's extremely unfortunate," Mayor Sullivan's Chief of Staff and Operations Peter Morin said, "that someone is trying to score political points at [Griffin's] expense."