BOSTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The campaign of U.S. Senator Scott Brown said on Wednesday it would donate to charity the campaign contributions received from the owners of a pharmacy at the center of a deadly meningitis outbreak.
"Sen. Brown supports a full and thorough investigation to determine responsibility for this tragedy and to ensure nothing like it ever happens again," the campaign of the Massachusetts Republican said in a statement. "In the meantime, the campaign is donating contributions from the company owners to the Meningitis Foundation of America."
A total of 138 people have contracted meningitis and 12 have died in the outbreak, which has been linked to a potentially contaminated steroid, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Idaho on Wednesday.
State and federal regulators have said that all of those infected were injected with drugs from New England Compounding Center, based in Framingham, Massachusetts. Owners of the firm, including Gregory Conigliaro, have donated to Brown's campaign, according to election records.
Brown is in the midst of a bruising re-election battle against Democratic nominee Elizabeth Warren, who is a Harvard professor. Brown was leading Warren by 47 percent to 43 percent in a recent poll of likely voters sponsored by radio station WBUR. The two candidates face off in debate later on Wednesday in Springfield.
Conigliaro donated $2,500 to Brown's campaign this year through the end of June, according to records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. Last month, Conigliaro and his wife, Cynthia, invited local entrepreneurs to their Southborough home for a fundraiser to meet Brown.
Attendees at that fundraiser who gave at least $500 to Brown's campaign were promised a signed copy of Brown's book, according to an invitation for the event. Donors of $1,000 were to receive a book and a "private VIP pre-reception" with Brown. And donors of $2,500 or more would get the book, private reception and have a photo taken with the senator.