Senator Scott Brown will donate $10,000 of campaign funds to the Meningitis Foundation of America, money his campaign received from the owners and executives of the pharmacy linked to the national meningitis outbreak that has sickened at least 137 people and killed 12.
The co-owner of the New England Compounding Center, Gregory Conigliaro, held a fundraiser in September with his wife Cynthia at their Southborough home, Brown’s campaign confirmed. The company’s injectable steroids have been traced to the outbreak. But the firm was not publicly linked to the problem until Oct. 4, after the fundraiser was held.
Conigliaro and Barry J. Cadden, owners of New England Compounding Center, also own a mutual stake in a second pharmacy in Westborough, Ameridose, that has temporarily shut down under a voluntary agreement with the state.
Brown’s campaign press secretary, Alleigh Marré, said the campaign would not be donating all of the donations received at the fundraiser, only those from company officials.
“Senator Brown supports a full and thorough investigation to determine responsibility for this tragedy and to ensure nothing like it ever happens again,” she said in a statement. “In the meantime, the campaign is donating contributions from the company owners to the Meningitis Foundation of America.”
Marré did not immediately say how much was raised at the fundraising event. Reuters, citing an event invitation, reported that those who gave $500 were offered a signed copy of Brown’s memoir, “Against All Odds.” Those who gave $1,000 would get a VIP private reception with the senator. For $2,500, donors would get the book, the reception, and a photo with Brown.
Federal records show Conigliaro donated $3,500 to Brown this election cycle, plus $400 just before the 2010 special election. He also donated $2,500 to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign last year, according to records.
Records also show a $2,500 donation from Lisa Conigliaro Cadden to Brown. She is the sister of Conigliaro and the wife of Cadden and is listed on records as treasurer, secretary and vice president for the New England Compounding Center.
During an appearance on the campaign trail today, Brown was asked whether he knew Lisa Cadden, who lives in Wrentham, according to WCVB.
“It doesn’t ring a bell,” Brown said. “I know a lot of people and I’ve been to a lot of events for me. To politicize this situation and try to say there is something of it is just sad. We’ve done the appropriate thing and donated the money.”