(Adds details on fundraiser, background on Brown race)
BOSTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The campaign of U.S. SenatorScott Brown said on Wednesday it would donate to charity thecampaign contributions received from the owners of a pharmacy atthe center of a deadly meningitis outbreak.
"Sen. Brown supports a full and thorough investigation todetermine responsibility for this tragedy and to ensure nothinglike it ever happens again," the campaign of the MassachusettsRepublican said in a statement. "In the meantime, the campaignis donating contributions from the company owners to theMeningitis Foundation of America."
A total of 138 people have contracted meningitis and 12 havedied in the outbreak, which has been linked to a potentiallycontaminated steroid, according to the Centers of DiseaseControl and Idaho on Wednesday.
State and federal regulators have said that all of thoseinfected were injected with drugs from New England CompoundingCenter, 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 battleagainst Democratic nominee Elizabeth Warren, who is a Harvardprofessor. Brown was leading Warren by 47 percent to 43 percentin a recent poll of likely voters sponsored by radio stationWBUR. The two candidates face off in debate later on Wednesdayin Springfield.
Conigliaro donated $2,500 to Brown's campaign this yearthrough the end of June, according to records compiled by theCenter for Responsive Politics. Last month, Conigliaro and hiswife, Cynthia, invited local entrepreneurs to their Southboroughhome for a fundraiser to meet Brown.
Attendees at that fundraiser who gave at least $500 toBrown's campaign were promised a signed copy of Brown's book,according to an invitation for the event. Donors of $1,000 wereto receive a book and a "private VIP pre-reception" with Brown.And donors of $2,500 or more would get the book, privatereception and have a photo taken with the senator.
(Reporting by Aaron Pressman; Editing by Paul Simao)
Keywords: USA HEALTH/MENINGITIS BROWN