AG’s Settlement With Lobbyist Draws Scrutiny

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin says he plans to launch his own inquiry into a case involving a former state lawmaker who is now a lobbyist.

Galvin, a Democrat whose office regulates lobbying, told The Boston Globe that a settlement Attorney General Martha Coakley recently reached with the lobbying firm run by John Brennan, “raises more questions than it answers.”

Coakley, a Democratic candidate for governor, said the firm took in $370,000 in improper lobbying fees from a client, the Franciscan Hospital for Children. The settlement required that Brennan repay $100,000 to the hospital and the firm made no admission of guilt.

Coakley defended the settlement and her office said a criminal investigation would have been risky because it could have resulted in no money being repaid to the hospital.