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Fund-raising letter may have violated law

T chief's mother sought aid for GOP candidate

The general manager of the MBTA may have violated campaign finance laws because a fund-raising letter from his mother repeatedly cites his name while appealing for money for Reed Hillman, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.

The mother of Daniel A. Grabauskas, Patricia Grabauskas-Caruso, invoked her son's name six times in the letter for Hillman, the running mate of Republican gubernatorial nominee Kerry Healey, The Republican of Springfield reported.

State law forbids a paid public employee, other than an elected official, from ``directly or indirectly" soliciting campaign money.

Grabauskas-Caruso of Lehigh Acres, Fla., said her son approved the letter before she mailed it to potential donors.

``Of course," she said. ``Dan's my son."

Grabauskas did not return several calls to his spokesman at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Laura Nicoll, a spokeswoman for the Healey-Hillman campaign, said the letter was an honest mistake.

``We're going to return any checks received from this letter," Nicoll said.

Grabauskas-Caruso wrote that her son was a good friend of Hillman and strongly supports him. The letter urged $50 to $500 donations to Hillman and Healey and concludes, ``Reed, Dan, and I look forward to your reply."

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