McLaughlin ran housing authorities in Somerville and Lowell and lost a bid for the Lowell city manager job before coming to Methuen as town manager in 1990. McLaughlin’s tenure in Methuen was short and turbulent. He had a rocky relationship with the Town Council — members called him “power hungry” and “ruthless” — and resigned under pressure in 1992.
Prosecutors may be hoping to get more out of McLaughlin on his relationship with Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray. The Office of Campaign and Political Finance has investigated McLaughlin’s role in Murray’s fundraising — an investigation Murray had requested — and referred its findings to the attorney general.
Public employees are barred from political fundraising activities.
“In all my life in politics, from the Lowell City Council to the U.S. Senate, no one worries me more than Michael McLaughlin,” the late-U.S. Sen. Paul Tsongas once said.
After a long career of shady dealings, McLaughlin, as the old saying goes, knows where all the bodies are buried. It will be interesting to see what he has to tell prosecutors. If he expects leniency for his admitted crimes, the information had better be good.