JP Progressive group’s members fund Kendra Lara’s crash defense

A report commissioned by City Councilor Kendra Lara that shows she wasn’t speeding at the time of her late June car crash was paid for, in part, by two members of a progressive steering committee that voted to endorse her last week.

Word began to leak soon after Lara and her attorney held a press conference Thursday evening to discuss the new findings that members of the Jamaica Plain Progressives Steering Committee contributed financially to the report, raising questions about whether it violated campaign finance or ethics laws.

“My attorney was the one that wrote the check and I am going to pay for it, and how that is paid for, how I’m paying my private legal fees is not the business of the Boston Herald,” Lara told the Herald Friday.

When pressed about whether this meant information provided to the Herald was inaccurate, and that the JP Progressives had nothing to do with the payment, Lara did not directly answer the question.

“What I am saying is that my lawyer wrote a check to The Crash Lab to commission the report as part of my legal defense,” Lara said.

Two JPP Steering Committee members, Krista Magnuson and Ziba Cranmer, confirmed, however, that they contributed to the study conducted by The Crash Lab, a New-Hampshire-based accident reconstruction group hired by Lara.

Both said they did so in an individual capacity and not on behalf of JPP.

Anne Rousseau, co-chair of the JPP steering committee, said there will be an “internal discussion” about the contributions, but declined further comment.

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