Vatican Ambassador Flynn Reaches Campaign Probe Settlement
ROBERT W. TROTT
Feb. 09, 1996
BOSTON (AP) _ U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Raymond Flynn has agreed to reimburse his mayoral campaign committee $9,000 for private expenditures that included a family trip to Disney World.
In an agreement he signed by fax from Rome on Thursday, the former Boston mayor admitted that he improperly spent the campaign funds on himself and his family.
He reached the settlement with state Attorney General Scott Harshbarger 90 minutes before a deadline the prosecutor had set for filing a civil lawsuit against him.
Flynn also acknowledged that his campaign committee failed to keep adequate and accurate records of its receipts and expenditures, and failed to file proper campaign finance reports for the years 1988 through 1993.
Flynn was ordered to pay his committee $12,500, but he repaid $3,400 in March 1994 that will count toward the agreement. He must make the rest of the reimbursement within 90 days.
His committee has already paid a $10,000 civil fine.
Prosecutors investigated allegations of crooked campaign finances for almost two years, and both Flynn and his right hand man from his City Hall days, Joseph Fisher, admitted wrongdoing.
Only Fisher faces possible prison time.
The state and federal investigation into Flynn's finances found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
Flynn, in a statement released by his lawyers in Boston, said he hoped the investigation wouldn't harm his reputation.
``I've never taken a dime from anyone I didn't earn, never,'' he said.
Flynn, 56, who served as Boston's mayor for three terms, was appointed ambassador to the Holy See by President Clinton in 1993.
Also on Thursday, Fisher admitted accepting $51,000 in illegal gifts while serving as a special assistant to then-Mayor Flynn.
Fisher pleaded guilty Thursday to four federal charges of filing false tax returns for failing to disclose the gifts, which included $25,000 in free renovation work on his homes from a contractor who did business with the city.
Under Fisher's plea agreement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Savage will seek a prison term of 12 to 18 months and a fine of $3,000 to $30,000.
Another former Flynn aide, former campaign finance director Douglas deRusha, was indicted by a state grand jury on charges of embezzling at least $520,000 from the campaign from 1990 to 1994. He has pleaded innocent.