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City Hall Leak Under Investigation

A political candidate says his opponent's wife pulled his voting records from the Election's Department. Attleboro's personnel director wants to know how he received this information.

Paul Heroux, Democratic candidate for state representative of the 2nd Bristol District (which includes most of Attleboro), blasted incumbent George Ross for his wife Jeanne allegedly pulling Heroux's voting records from Attleboro City Hall. Nobody contacted by Attleboro Patch will confirm this allegation, but city Personnel Director Jan Silverman said she is investigating how Heroux obtained this information.

"I am looking into the matter," said Silverman on Friday. "Since I just heard about this earlier today, I have no information at this time."

Heroux said the person who told him the story is not a city employee, but he declined to identify the informant or say whether he or she gave him a first-hand account.

Voting records are kept by the city's Election's Department. Marianne Draine, the department's office manager, declined to comment for this story. She referred all questions to Silverman.

Heroux issued a press release early Friday morning accusing Ross of "looking for dirt."

"There is no value in my voting record unless Rep. Ross is going to use it adversely, to accuse me of not voting," Heroux wrote. "We should be debating the issues and solving problems, but Ross [is] looking for dirt on me. My voting record has nothing to do with how I am going to reduce tax waste in Massachusetts or fight for mental health services in Attleboro."

He continued, "The fact of the matter is that if I didn't have a voting record, after demanding a clean campaign, Rep. Ross would have used dirt against me to make me look bad. I have a voting record and unfortunately for Rep. Ross, he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar."

Ross declined to comment extensively for this story.

"This is a non-story," he told Patch. "Voting records are public records."

Patch obtained the voting records of both candidates from City Hall after Heroux issued his press release. The documents show that Ross has consistently voted since 1997, the year the city began keeping computerized records.

Heroux, who has lived in Attleboro most of his life and turned 18 in 1995, did not vote in Attleboro until the 2008 general election, according to the documents. He voted again in the special U.S. Senate election in January 2010 as well as the November 2010 state election, the November 2011 local election, the March 2012 presidential primary and last month's state primary. 

Since Heroux began voting in Attleboro, he failed to cast ballots in the November 2009 local election and the state primaries in December 2009 and September 2010.

Heroux told Patch he also voted for president in 2004 while attending graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania.

"I was not politically active before that," Heroux said. "I was working with kids. It was when I came back from Saudi Arabia (where he worked at Al Rajhi bank) back in 2003, that's when I started to become politically active. I started to appreciate the importance of voting because of my experience of seeing world affairs first-hand."

As for the gap between 2004 and 2008, Heroux said he was living in London for part of that time and did not know how to vote absentee. He also said, "There weren't any races that piqued my interest during that period." 

A previous version of this article stated Paul Heroux did not vote in the May 2010 special state Senate election. Heroux was not a resident of the district involved in that election at the time, so he was not eligible to vote. 

Richard W. Lunt October 14, 2012 at 02:27 AM
I was researching Paul Heroux's resume. He dosen't have any private sector business experience, mostly public sector and non profit public sector experience which will do nothing to help the citizens of Attleboro or our commonwealth when it comes to private sector job growth. George Ross has local business experience and he understands the needs of the business owners who are strangled with high taxes and too much regulation such as Obamacare which will further cripple the business owners ability to create full time jobs.
Richard W. Lunt October 14, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Obamacare impacts local business and State Reps should and are concerned with this new regulation. Paul, just because you worked in Saudi Arabia doesn't make you qualified to be a State Rep. As for your other experiences, there is a huge difference between being a consultant and being a CEO. CEO's of top corporations deal with million dollar budgets, can you say the same? Your experience working in your family's drug store chain is a good example of understanding small business, I will give you that one. As for Kennedy's resume, he has no private sector business experience and he's running on his family name.
Paul Heroux October 14, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Richard, to use the words of Ronald Reagan... there you go again. Twisting things. I never said working in Saudi Arabia means I am qualified to be a State Rep but any person can be a better person for having lived outside of the country. And considering that there is a nexus of Islamic terrorism and public safety, I think my background in the Middle East is a good thing for a State Rep to have. Paul Ryan has no private sector experience and you support him. Also, you once commented in another article that Sean Bielat was a CEO of an internet company, which had about as many employees as my small firm works with. Have I worked with millions of dollars? I was director of research and planning for a half billion dollar MA state agency, and I was assistant to the commissioner of a $250 million city agency. I did ROI and CBA analysis at the highest levels in these agencies. I was hired because the budget directors didn't have my skill set. In the line of work that I do (in the private sector) I do evaluations on programs in the tens of millions of dollars and look to see what works and what doesn't. Good background for a State Rep. As for the Obamacare, the regulations are federal regulations. I would have no jurisdiction over those. As a State Rep, I would have to work to offset the insurance that employers like my mother and father are going to have to contend with. I am intimately familiar with how Obamacare affects both small businesses and families.
Paul Heroux October 14, 2012 at 09:33 AM
Richard, It says right on my bio page that I am a self employed consultant - put another way... I own my own business. In this capacity, I measure the effectiveness of government programs. I don't give myself the title of CEO but that is what I am. If you think that decreasing tax waste through measuring programs is not something we need in government, sure... Additional private sector experience includes when I worked in Saudi Arabia for the human resources division of Al Rajhi bank. Additional private sector experience includes when I grew up working in my father's and mother's drug stores in Attleboro and Plainville. In this capacity I learned the small business trade from my parents. Additionally, working for a jail and then a prison I worked on job placement issues for inmates being release from prison. Additionally, if you think it was a waste of time for me to work for an Attleboro youth and family serving non-profit for seven years, an org that does work instead of the government doing that work, please tell me how I could have better spent my time. Furthermore, as a State Rep I would have nothing to do with Obamacare. Why bring that up? If you looked at my website as you say you have, you would see that the very first bullet point under jobs on my issues tab talks about getting rid of regulations that don't protect anyone or anything. This reminds me of the time when you knew nothing about Kennedy's resume.
Jerry Chase October 14, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Yeah; especially since that 'someone' is likely to be an independent contractor and not a city employee, per se. Even more important is to make sure note of who (s)he works for . . . . .
Richard W. Lunt October 14, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Your experiences are good; however, George Ross has more experience and he has the connections on Beacon Hill to get things done for our city. I'm also voting for George as well as others including Paul Ryan whom you mentioned because they are Republicans and are conservative. In Massachusetts, the Democrats have had control of the house and senate for far too long and the time has come to change the corrupt culture on Beacon Hill. Voting Republican is the solution; of course you and I differ on this subject.
DAN DEVINE October 14, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I VOTE for the PERSON, Not their CONNECTIONS or PARTY AFFILIATION.
Sarah October 14, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Ok.. I am just going to say it: "There weren't any races that piqued my interest during that period." Are you kidding me? That is just disrespectful to the voting process. So Paul you only vote on things that are of interest? It makes me wonder what will happen if there are certain things as part of the State Rep job that won't be very interesting. So will you just choose to blow it off? I see no reason to elect Paul. We need to keep the flow of funds to the Attleboro area. George, with help, has made those inroads. Just because Paul is a democrat does not mean that the sitting folks on the hill will be superwilling to work with him. Aditionally (which seems to be Pauls favorite word) George is a dedicated Attleboro resident, what will happen when Pauls Interest is no longer piqued???
DAN DEVINE October 14, 2012 at 10:09 PM
RICHARD W. LUNT - The cap & gown photo would give the impression that you are an educated person but your researching technique would indicate otherwise. ( He doesn't have A N Y private sector business experience ) ? ? ?
Michael Davis October 14, 2012 at 10:38 PM
I'm a Seekonk guy, so I have no dog in this fight. But it seems like Paul might have made a bad choice announcing to the media that he was his opponent looked into his voting record (a pretty routine thing that people do in campaigns). That seems to have inspired The Patch to look into the records as well. And his record appears to stink, now published in an article that would not have existed had Paul not made the complaint in the first place. He might consider firing his campaign advisor.
Bear Cat October 14, 2012 at 11:46 PM
George Ross has always played dirty during an election year. Why don't we all stop quarreling about who is the better candidate and ask them to step up to the podium and debate issues face to face. Then maybe we can all decide who to vote for. Of course if you want to just vote for the party then that's your choice. My opinion is, that's pretty shallow.
Richard W. Lunt October 14, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Bear Cat, I've known George Ross for years and he has never played dirty politics, although I do remember his opponent in the other party in previous State Rep. races has been known to play dirty politics. The people of Attleboro know George and will see that he deserves the right to be re-elected as our State Representative.
Bear Cat October 14, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Then, why is he avoiding a debate?
Ellen October 15, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Mr Lunt, please inform us all what dirty politics Bill Bowles used in 2008, 2010. He ran a stright, positive campaign. He may have defined differences, but they were above board, and he put on a piece of literature anything he wouldn't say in a debate.
Gretchen Robinson October 15, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Richard, would you please post that you are treasurer of the Attleboro City Democratic Committee. I think that is germane for readers to know.
Gretchen Robinson October 15, 2012 at 08:47 PM
George Ross votes with Republican hacks 97% of the time!!! Who needs those kinds of 'connections.' Attleboro needs someone to come at the issues the City faces with a fresh perspective. I'm so tired of Ross/Poirier duo, voting in tandem, thinking alike. Can George even think for himself? I have strong doubts that he is capable of forming an independent viewpoint. Yep, does what he's told, George does. As for your plea that we 'vote republican', any party that has to plead with the public to vote for it demonstrates that it is totally void of any new ideas or plans for future growth of the Commonwealth. Actually Democrats could make a counter plea that the Republicans in SE Mass. dominates in terms of State Reps. (All but one!) But we don't. Who wants the same old/same old politics as usual? Not me! I know Paul Heroux will come into office and fully assess the situation the City faces with the State and provide effective leadership to we in Attleboro. I know he has an independent mind, thinks through the issues, can stand on his own two feet, won't ever vote lockstep about anyone over anything. I know he will stand up for women, education, the environment, healthcare, and marriage equality. Vote for excellence--Vote Paul Heroux.
Gretchen Robinson October 15, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I hate dirty politics. Win fair or you deserve to lose. George Ross appears to have some ethical lapses to explain to voters. Bill Bowles was a popular City Councilor for years and has a record for telling the people the truth even when it would upset the public. We grew to trust him and the decisions he made because we knew he had the City's best interest at heart. He was more fiscally conservative than I am but I still trusted him and his 'take' on the issues and voted for him. After all, he was in the situation. Bill Bowles was excellent as a State Rep. When the NAMI Attleboro group (National Alliance for Mental Health) group went to the Statehouse for a yearly legislative breakfast, Bill Bowles was there supporting this part of his constituency. I look at George Ross and think, 'there's no there, there.'
Richard W. Lunt October 16, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Bill Bowles was a horrible State Rep. and always had issues with telling the truth. As a State Rep. he claimed at the time that he was against raising taxes; however, he voted for a sales tax increase, Bill Bowles lied. There was another time in 2009 Mr. Bowles claimed that he supported ethics reform; he actually lied on this one too, he actually voted against a bill in 2009 that would require all committee meetings on Beacon Hill be open to the public. So much for trust, but that was then and we are now in the year 2012. I do not have any ill will towards Paul Heroux. George Ross in my view is an excellent State Representative and he is a man that people can trust and the voters in Attleboro know that as well.
Christine Viveiros October 16, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Why can't anybody from Mr. Ross' party answer the question about when/if a debate will happen?? I certainly don't want to vote for either until I hear both sides of the issues at hand. Is Mr Ross going to agree to a debate or not??
Richard W. Lunt October 16, 2012 at 01:33 PM
FYI, the debate is scheduled for Thursday evening, October 25th and will be held at Thatcher Elementary School.
Christine Viveiros October 16, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Thank you
Darren Major October 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM
As long as the candidate is GOP - you bet!
Darren Major October 17, 2012 at 10:56 AM
Bill Bowles had accomplishents - like saving the RMV dumb Betty P bungled - Ross naming a bridge and bath salts - nothing of any redeeming quality for the city and I am sick of people voting for back-benchers who just hold a position because of being GOP ...and frankly useless - Vote for Paul instead of George the ZERO Ross! and kick out Zero/Useless Betty P too
Darren Major October 17, 2012 at 10:58 AM
the coward finally agreed to debate the real candidate .....I hope Paul mops us the ZERO quick so we can go home early on the 25th
Richard W. Lunt October 17, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Gretchen, For your information, I was never the treasurer of the Attleboro Democratic City Committee, nor will I ever be a Democrat; however, I was at one time the treasurer of the Attleboro Republican City Committee, currently, that job is in the capable hands of someone else.
Christine Viveiros October 18, 2012 at 06:12 PM
According to today's paper, the debate is at Attleboro High School
Gretchen Robinson October 18, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Bill Bowles was an excellent State Rep. He was well-regarded for his financial acumen and protecting the City from some pretty unsound ideas. I didn't always agree with his positions but I always trusted his honesty and integrity. He seems to be Betty Poirier's protege and shadow. Are the two joined at the hip? He voted 97% of the time with Republican leaders in the State House. How cozy. Has he ever had an original thought? Can he even think for himself? What I like about Paul Heroux is his commitment to serve, his intelligence and kindly manner. Everywhere I drive in the City I see houses with his campaign sign on the property. These are people he met while canvasing. Because he listens well, he and gained a lot of info on what the real needs are in Attleboro. Did Ross ever go door-to-door? I doubt it. I approve and will vote for Paul Heroux because he has a good mind, a good heart, and he knows how to use them. Vote for the future and not the hackneyed past. Vote Paul Heroux!
Daniel F. Devine October 19, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Darren Major, Re. your comment of Oct. 17- ( "AS LONG AS THE CANDIDATE IS G.O.P.") - If you paid attention you would know I DO back the person NOT their party affilation. Not that I care about your stupid comment, there's lots of ignorant people, like you, who read the patch.
Jerry Chase October 19, 2012 at 09:50 PM
May I confirm Daniel's claim here? I know it to be fact.
DAN DEVINE October 19, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Richard, On Oct. 13 you wrote: "HE DOESN'T HAVE ANY PRIVATE SECTOR BUSINESS EXPERIENCE". The very next day you say: "YOUR EXPERIENCES ARE GOOD". ARE YOU CONFUSED?

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