- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 6, 2007

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — A movie producer known for chiding actress Lindsay Lohan for acting like “a spoiled child” during the filming of one of his productions last year has landed in hot water himself for violating Maryland campaign finance law.

James G. Robinson has been fined $119,000 after making excessive contributions to the campaigns of Gov. Martin O’Malley, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Comptroller Peter Franchot last year, authorities said yesterday.

Mr. Robinson, who produced “The Good Shepherd” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” will pay the fines for 24 civil citations. Prosecutors said criminal prosecutions were not warranted because there was insufficient evidence to conclude Mr. Robinson intentionally violated the law.

“These are some of the largest fines ever levied against persons who have violated the campaign finance laws,” state prosecutor Robert Rohrbaugh said.

James Ulwick, an attorney for Mr. Robinson, declined to comment yesterday.

The contributions were returned by Mr. O’Malley and Mr. Brown after they learned they were in violation.

Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat, said yesterday the contributions came in during “a crunch of volume” of other contributions during the last couple of weeks of the campaign. He said the campaign vetting process should have caught them.

“I feel badly it did not,” Mr. O’Malley said in Accident, Md., where he took an aerial tour of gypsy moth damage and proposed wind power sites.

Tim Daly, Mr. Franchot’s campaign manager, said the comptroller’s campaign has not yet returned the money but intends to do so “in very short order.” Mr. Daly said Mr. Franchot’s campaign was searching to see if any more contributions from Mr. Robinson should be returned.

Mr. Robinson, a Baltimore native, is the sole stockholder of 20 corporations, which made the contributions. Contributions by two or more corporations owned by the same stockholder are considered to be made by one contributor under Maryland campaign finance law. Mr. Robinson is chairman and CEO of Morgan Creek Productions, Morgan Creek International and the Morgan Creek Music Group and other companies.

“The message to political contributors and campaigns alike is that, regardless of your position, the laws are not hollow words to be ignored,” Mr. Rohrbaugh said.

Mr. Robinson, 71, made $125,000 in illegal contributions between Oct. 6 and Oct. 23, just before statewide elections, according to the state prosecutor’s office. Mr. O’Malley’s campaign received $34,000; Mr. Robinson gave $58,000 to Mr. Brown’s campaign; Mr. Franchot’s campaign received $37,000.

Mr. Robinson got attention last year when he wrote a letter to Miss Lohan, chiding her for failing to show up on the set of “Georgia Rule” after she complained of heat exhaustion. “We are well aware that your ongoing all-night, heavy partying is the real reason for your so-called ‘exhaustion,’ ” he wrote.

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