On the eve of a hearing challenging his Attleboro residency, School Committee member David Murphy released a number of documents to the media that he says prove "I was, I am and I will be a resident of 49 Pioneer Circle in Attleboro."
[The documents are attached to this article.]
The documents include driver's licenses dated from 1999 to the present containing the Attleboro address, various financial documents featuring the Attleboro address and signed affidavits stating he lives in Attleboro from three people: the head of the Democratic City Committee, a friend and his father.
Also included in the packet is a vehicle registration dated May 14, 2012 that features the Attleboro address. Murphy wrote in a statement that when he was elected last fall his vehicle was registered to an address in Boston, where school district parent Jennifer Crowder has accused him of living. He wrote this does not mean this was his official residency.
"When I had an apartment in Boston, I needed to register my car there in order to obtain a parking permit, which is something I disclosed to the Election's Department prior to the 2011 election," he wrote. "This lone fact did not, and again would not, make Boston my headquarters for various legal purposes. There is no point in having a place to sleep in Boston if you do not have a place to park in Boston."
He continued, "When I relinquished possession of my Boston apartment, for reasons completely unrelated to Ms. Crowder's plight, my car registration reverted to my legal residence, my headquarters for various legal purposes, and my home: 49 Pioneer Circle in Attleboro."
The Election Commission will hold a residency hearing at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers at City Hall. Crowder that she says prove he was a Boston resident when he was elected in November.
Regardless of what Murphy's residency was last fall, it appears the commission will not be determining that tonight. Commission Chair Fran V. Hutton said at a meeting last month that the four-member panel would be determining whether he lived in Attleboro on July 16, the date Crowder submitted the complaint, due to advice from the Secretary of State's office via a city solicitor.
Crowder said after the meeting that her current challenge and previous versions of it were submitted at the advice of the Election's Department. If there was a problem with how they were submitted, it was not her fault, she said. However, 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."
In his packet, Murphy addresses why he had not previously released documents featuring his residency as some people have claimed he should. He wrote:
1. Citizens, elected or not, cannot allow themselves to be coerced into disclosing private information through the use legal processes as political weapons; and
2. No amount of documentation will ever convince the individuals pursuing this of my valid residency. They are simply immune to laws and facts.
Murphy has claimed that there are several people behind the challenge (who he has not identified), and that Crowder is a pawn. She has denied this accusation, and says only one person has assisted her. This person, who she has declined to identify, is not involved in local politics and is helping because of her legal knowledge, Crowder said.
Regarding the complaint, Murphy wrote that it is "a transparent attempt to undo a decision rendered by the voters of Attleboro."
"It is frankly less offensive to me than it is to our democratic process," he wrote. "There are major challenges facing the Attleboro school district in the coming academic year that will affect our nearly 6,000 students whose summer has now passed the halfway mark. Those 6,000 students have been and will continue to be my focus, as that is the job I was elected to do."
The hearing is open to the public. It is expected to appear live on local channel 15. Attleboro Patch will confirm whether that will happen later today.