Residency Hearing Set for Aug. 2
A school district parent says Attleboro School Committee member David Murphy was not a resident when he was elected last fall. Murphy says this is not true. The commission likely won't even consider this issue.
The hearing on Attleboro School Committee member David Murphy's residency has been scheduled for next week on Thursday at 6 p.m. The session will take place in the City Council chambers at City Hall.
The Election Commission voted unanimously last week to hold the hearing after accepting a complaint from school district parent Jennifer Crowder, who says Murphy was a resident of Boston, not Attleboro, last fall when he filed to run for office. However, Commission Chair Fran V. Hutton said last week that at the advice of the Secretary of State's office via a city solicitor, the four-member panel could only consider whether Murphy was an Attleboro resident on July 16, the date Crowder filed the complaint.
Murphy told Attleboro Patch during the campaign that he rented an apartment in Boston, where he works as an attorney, while maintaining a permanent residence at 49 Pioneer Circle in Attleboro. He also rented an apartment in Attleboro. Murphy wrote in a statement to the media earlier this month that he no longer rents the Boston apartment.
Following the commission's decision to hold the hearing, Murphy wrote to the media, "I look forward to the hearing and resolving this issue definitively."
It has been a long road for Crowder to reach this point. She initially challenged Murphy's residency during the campaign by filing a complaint with the state Ethics Commission. The commission responded that the issue was not within its jurisdiction because he was not an elected official at the time. Legal experts told Patch the commission would not have considered the matter even if Murphy were an elected official because residency is not something it addresses.
Crowder again challenged Murphy's residence by submitting a complaint to the local Election's Department. The Election Commission dismissed the complaint earlier this month because the document did not meet the technical criteria for consideration. She submitted the revised complaint, which is the one being considered for the hearing, the next week.
Crowder told Patch all the actions she has taken have been at the advice of the city Election's Department. She said she was not deterred by the announcement Murphy's residency on July 16 would be the only issue considered at the hearing, saying she has "a plan."