BOSTON—Norfolk District Attorney William Keating accepted campaign donations from a lawyer representing a man being prosecuted by Keating's office for attempting to gun down an off-duty firefighter last year.
Keating, a Democrat running for Congress, received two donations from attorney John McGlone in August totaling $1,545, according to an Associated Press review of campaign records filed with the Federal Elections Commission.
McGlone is also listed on Keating's campaign website as a co-host for an August fundraiser for Keating at Marina Bay in Quincy.
McGlone represents Robert O'Connell, charged with attempted murder after police say he shot Milton firefighter Joseph Fasano in a case of road rage.
Republicans said McGlone's contributions amount to a conflict of interest.
David Traub, spokesman for Keating's office, defended the decision to accept the donations.
"It's neither inappropriate nor uncommon for attorneys to contribute to political candidates," Traub said.
Traub also pointed out that by the time O'Connell's case heads to trial next summer, Keating will no longer be district attorney whether he wins the congressional race or not.
McGlone did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Keating is running against Republican Jeffrey Perry in the open 10th Congressional District race to fill the seat being vacated by Democrat Rep. William Delahunt, who is not seeking re-election.
Republicans see the race as one of their best chances to pick up another seat in Massachusetts' congressional delegation after Scott Brown's surprise Senate win in January's special election to fill the seat held by the late Edward Kennedy.
They faulted Keating for accepting donations from a lawyer whose client is actively being prosecuted by Keating's office. O'Connell is due back in Norfolk Superior Court on Friday for a pretrial conference.
"This raises serious ethical questions about conflict of interest and the integrity of the office," said Tory Mazzola, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The Dec. 12, 2009, shooting occurred just before midnight, according to police.
Police said O'Connell was ahead of Fasano in traffic and began stopping and accelerating. Both vehicles pulled over, the drivers got out, and the shooting occurred. Fasano was shot in the abdomen. He has since recovered from his wounds.
O'Connell initially fled the scene, but later turned himself in to police.
O'Connell, the son of prominent Quincy developer Peter O'Connell, who helped build the Marina Bay development, was arrested and charged with attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and discharging a firearm near a dwelling. He later posted $500,000 bail.
Prosecutors from Keating's office had tried unsuccessfully to have O'Connell held without bail.