STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
FORMER STATE Sen. Dean Tran was indicted Friday by a Suffolk County grand jury and charged with two counts of violating state ethics laws, Attorney General Andrea Campbell announced.
The newest charges against Tran, who was indicted by then-Attorney General Maura Healey in July 2022 on charges that he stole a Colt .45 gun from an elderly constituent and then misled the investigation into the incident, stem from the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ethics’ 2020 finding that Tran inappropriately used his Senate staff to conduct campaign activities. Campbell’s office said the matter was referred to it by the Office of Campaign and Political Finance following the Senate committee’s report.
Campbell alleged that the 47-year-old Fitchburg Republican, who served in the Massachusetts Senate from late 2017 until early 2021, “used members of his Senate staff to campaign for him while those staff members were on state time, state payroll, and purportedly working for the Legislature” during campaigns in 2018 and 2020. The impermissible work is alleged to have taken place during official work hours at the MassGOP campaign regional field office in Fitchburg, the AG’s office said.
Massachusetts ethics laws prohibit state, county, and municipal public employees from using public resources in connection with political campaigns or other private political activity, including engaging in political activity on public work time, Campbell’s office said.
Attorneys representing Tran in the gun charge matter — which is ongoing and slated to go to a jury trial in February — did not immediately return a call seeking a response to the latest indictment of their client Friday afternoon. Tran is to be arraigned on the latest charges in Suffolk County Superior Court at a later date, Campbell’s office said Friday.
Tran is also a subject in a federal investigation, the Boston Globe reported in June after the FBI raided his home.
The Massachusetts Senate sanctioned Tran in 2020 after the Senate Ethics Committee found his office staff had been performing campaign work with public resources during business hours. He denied the charges. He was removed from his position as assistant minority whip and banned from interacting with his staff except through official emails.
Tran narrowly lost his 2020 reelection bid to Sen. John Cronin, a Democrat. Last year, he ran for Congress against US Rep. Lori Trahan and garnered more than 88,500 votes in his loss.