Residency of Attleboro Candidate Called into Question

Attleboro School Committee candidate David Murphy said Attleboro is his home, always has been.

, an attorney at Nixon Peabody in Boston, wants to set the record straight about his residency in Attleboro.

Murphy, who was raised in Attleboro and attended elementary, middle and high school in Attleboro, said he is a resident in Attleboro, despite what others have suggested otherwise.

According to the Attleboro Election Office, any registered voter in Attleboro can run for elected office. There is no minimum requirement at the local level on how many days out of the year that they need to reside in Attleboro, according to Elections Office Manager Maryann Draine.

Murphy has come under fire lately because he has an apartment in Boston, a place where he retreats to after working long hours at the law firm, he said.

"I work in Boston at a job that requires long hours and late nights," Murphy said. "When I decided to run for a seat on the School Committee I signed a lease on an apartment in Attleboro. As I anticipated, my apartment is in a different ward (Ward 3) than my permanent residence (Ward 6), which is why I decided to run for an at-large seat."

Murphy said he's always made Attleboro his home. Murphy is a registered voter in Atteboro and his bills are sent to Attleboro. That has been the case when the candidate was in college in New York, law school in Boston and working on Capital Hill in Washington, he said. He went on to say that the "side show" by other candidates is just a distraction from the real school issues that should be addressed.

"I will not entertain this issue again," he said. "It is not a coincidence that this issue was pushed out the same day when a write-in candidate was declared against an incumbent who has missed seven of the last eight meetings and 20 overall."

As of Monday morning no one had come forward to file any formal complaints with the City's Elections Office, according to Draine. If, however, it is determined afer the election is over that Murphy does not reside in Attleboro and Murphy is voted in as one of the at large committee members, a special election will need to be held.

Because it would have to be a city-wide election, the special election would cost taxpayers between $15,000 and $18,000.

According to the State Election office if a complaint was filed and Attleboro's Election Office chose to investigate the claim, the case would be brought to court.

As far as Murphy's concerned that will not be necessary. "I know it's a perfectly legitimate question to ask and I have answered it."

Amy October 25, 2011 at 03:06 PM
Wow, C Johnson, I don't see these types of attacks convincing too many more of our successful alumni into trying to give back.
Jackson, M October 25, 2011 at 03:17 PM
So let me get this straight. You can have to legal residences and still be legally able to run for office in either community. Sounds a little strange to me. You grow up, move out on your own and still try to claim that you live with Mom and Dad. Then you only secure your own residence in Attleboro when you take out papers. What back door politics is this? If you are in Boston working late hours and spending your time in Boston, how are you going to give top priority to the children of Attleboro. If you really believe in Attleboro and the best education for our children, let someone who truly lives here and devote their time to them to win an at-large seat in the election. What are your true motives for running? Can you honestly say, that the children's best interest will be served, if you live "part-time" in Boston? Time to think of the children Dave, not yourself. If you have a conscious, you will not pursue a seat on school committee.
Blythe P. October 25, 2011 at 03:29 PM
So our choice is a lawyer who has to sleep in Boston sometimes when he’s on trial but graduated from AHS and cares about the schools and his community . . . or the people who are trying to divert our attention away from what a nightmare the School Committee has become? I usually wouldn’t say this, but . . . I’ll take the lawyer. Attleboro's students need to be our first priority.
C Johnson October 25, 2011 at 03:37 PM
Amy, I am not trying to convince our Alumni not to give back. I am merely stating that if you do not live in Attleboro, you should not hold an office. If an alumni truly lives in Attleboro, I would welcome their candidacy and would truly be willing to support them, if their vision was truly in the best interest of our children. In the case with Dave Murphy, he lives in Boston, and visits Attleboro. Yes, his root are here but he has not been a resident of Attleboro until the day he drew his papers. There is a difference and I don't appreciate being lied too. I also find it very disturbing that many comments are being deleted. Is someone trying to hide the truth behind this situation. Let comments be posted. Haven't people heard of freedom of speech.
C Johnson October 25, 2011 at 03:45 PM
I disagree Blythe. A lawyer who doesn't live in Attleboro (until he took out papers) is the best choice for our children. Until he has been living back in Attleboro for a little while and seeing the real issues, he is not ready to serve on the school committee. Let's bring in attorneys from all over the country, who were born in Attleboro, but who have not live here for years and let them all serve on the Committee. What an informed committee. You stated Attleboro student's need to be our first priority. How would they be our first priority if the school committee member spends more time in Boston then in the city he serves. He hasn't lived here in awhile, how can he put our student's first. Get involved in Attleboro, truly live here for awhile and then run for office. Get reaquainted with your community and schools and then run. You don't live here, you shouldn't run. There are reasons for this qualification. Should we just through out the by-laws and let anyone run for office. How would this work in government?
Matt October 25, 2011 at 03:55 PM
I don't understand how you can say you've been lied to. Murphy has been very upfront about his residency from everything I have seen. Frustrating to see that some people are focusing on issues other than the kids and improving the school system. Elect the best people rather than just perpetuating the old boys & girls network.
Jackson, M October 25, 2011 at 03:55 PM
Mr. Murphy, why "ENOUGH". This is a pertinent issue and you should not be telling anyone "enough". If this is how you are going to deal with the tough questions, I don't think you are going to be able to work collaboratively on the School Committee. With different opinions and takes on issues, are you going to say enough to these issues? Are you going to be able to take on the responsibility of difference of opinion without getting frustrated and giving up? This is not the answer to problems Attleboro schools are facing. I think the residence issue needs to be investigated further and let a higher board give us the true facts and then this issue will be resolved. If they find that you were not a resident of Boston than this issue is null and void. But, we need to know the truth behind this issue.
Matt October 25, 2011 at 04:09 PM
Investigating the residency issues...that sounds like a smart allocation of time and resources. Johnson & Jackson seem to be very upset about this whole thing. Putting the residency issues aside, what did you see as the biggest challenges that the School Committee is facing and why did those issues require that to be qualified to address those issues the committee members never leave the Attleboro city limits? I have two young children and know that I personally would not have the time to truly dedicate to the school committee, so why not support a young man who is a success story of the Attleboro school system and wants to give back of his time to help create an atmosphere of success for kids following in his footsteps?
Allison Sullivan October 25, 2011 at 04:14 PM
Kristina Piasecki October 25, 2011 at 05:18 PM
It is disgusting that people will play politics like this even at the local level and at the expense of what's good for our city. No wonder there's no chance for morality at the federal level. I have personally seen Dave around the city numerous times over the last year, and I'm not someone who often ventures out as I have a 1 year old. That alone tells me he spends his time here. He works in Boston and occasionally sleeps there. That doesn't make it his place of residence. People who know nothing about him personally should not be making false claims about where he lives. They are false claims and they hurt our city. All this idiocy reminds why I would never run for office.
C Johnson October 25, 2011 at 05:22 PM
Matt, how can someone who works long hours in Boston devote enough time to our children on School Committee. This job is not just an hour or two every other week at a meeting. I agree with you that someone needs to be able to devote alot of time to this position. Leaving the city limits is not an issue. So based on your comment, how can Dave Murphy devote enough time to this elected office If he spends most of his time in Boston? He is not giving his full support to the children of Attleboro if he is not spending enough time in Attleboro. This is one of my concerns. I am a true believer in our government. I feel that if the governing laws state someone needs to be a resident of the City they are seeking office in, then this needs to be enforced. Regardless if the person is a great guy, and went to school here. That is not what is being questioned. How can you be dedicated to a city you do not live in or spend enough time in. Alot of people have been successful after going through Attleboro schools. If they live in Providence or Boston, should they be allowed to run for School Committe (their parents may still live in Attleboro also). Where do you draw the line? You can't just vote for someone because they have been successful in our schools and are a nice guy. This all comes back to the devotion and support of our children. You can't live or stay in another city and give your full attention to the issues affecting our schools.
Dottie October 25, 2011 at 05:41 PM
You actually make a very valid point. I see that a great deal has been deleted between now & this morning, & I am unsure if the reply further up is specifically aimed at me - however, regardless of one's vision, will Mr. Murphy have the time to devote to this position? My ward member works very hard on the committee and is quite accessible, and I have gotten replies relatively quickly every time I have made contact. However, one current at-large member took several days to get back to me, than hastily replied that working long hours and 2 jobs were to blame. That worries me...If as Mr. Murphy says, "I work in Boston at a job that requires long hours and late nights", will there be much time left to be on the school committee? As attending the meetings is actually only a very small piece of it, and parents will be contacting you with concerns fairly regularly, will he have time to devote to all this issues facing our children? I would appreciate not being attacked - as I stated earlier, I am still deciding upon candidates myself am working this out as the election is quickly approaching.
Dottie October 25, 2011 at 05:51 PM
Interesting, now even more comments have been deleted - seeing that the last round was comments attacking the ones that are left, I am betting it isn't Patch that is deleting them - going back to the original comment by "Jimmy" asking that no supporters post negativity. Which brings me to this - I forgot to say, the reason I do not use my full name is to protect my children. Believe it or not, fallout from Patch articles does make it into the schools.
Liz October 25, 2011 at 06:04 PM
If Dave's extensive listening tour is any indication, he has given and will continue to give incredible amounts of time to serving on the school committee. He seems to have gone out of his way to listen, at length, to parents, teachers, students and other community members about the school system and its needs. I this his actions show just the kind of commitment he is willing to make to Attleboro's students.
Bob Hill October 25, 2011 at 11:19 PM
From a helicopter view, I would say that the "math" of the live-in-Boston scenarios don't make sense. So, one is to believe that Dave, who is practicing law successfully in Boston, is commuting to Attleboro so that he can have the illustrious elected position of school committee representative? He will be commuting from Boston for the night meetings and events in Attleboro and will be working fewer hours at the Boston law firm in an effort to further his political career? And the stepping stone is the school committee position? I don't want to belittle the role of school committee representative because it is very important to our community. But look at what is at stake for Dave. The scenarios don't add up unless you're using some "fuzzy math" to quote Bush senior. An equation which makes sense is that Dave is genuinely interested in and committed to Attleboro. As a former teacher at AHS when Dave went there, I see his good intentions in running for school committee.
DebEgan October 26, 2011 at 02:43 AM
Wow, 30 posts and only 9 are left. Even the first one where one of Dave Murphy's campaigners told his supporters not to flag posts was flagged. What exactly are you hiding Mr.Murphy for you to keep flagging these posts asking honest questions? Even my post from this morning has been flagged and all I stated was that I was glad that this has finally come out. Simply show your new lease that you supposedly got when you first pulled your papers back in June and I don't think anyone would still have problems with you running. If you can't or won't then that means that you only have the two addresses, your parents where I do not question that you grew up but no longer live, and the apartment you rent in Boston. I do get that you need that apartment because you work long hours in Boston, but you admit you live there and sleep there at least 5 days a week. Everything else doesn't matter. What is right is right, and what is wrong is wrong. Honestly I do think you might be a good school board member but you really should first establish your real residency in Attleboro before you run as a grown up living out on your own. If you do this over the next two years I will probably support you in 2013. But right now I have to be worried about how if you are elected it could cost this city an extra $20,000 for a reelection. If this is investigated before November 8th and verified with the Ethic's Commision and the Attorney General's office and is ok then great, I will wish you good luck.
Sarah Wilberg October 26, 2011 at 02:50 AM
I think that we can all agree that this issue clearly needs to be brought to the Attorney Gereral's office and the Ethic's Commision. Why not just move to Attleboro and commute like everyone else? How does the AG get involved? This is all simply too suspect. If Mr. Murphy really has nothing to hide, I would ask that he personally contacts the AGs office to conduct a full investigation. He is an attorney, I'm sure he knows how to do that.
Bob Hill October 26, 2011 at 09:07 AM
I wrote a comment simply saying that the scenario of Dave living and working in Boston did not make sense to me. This gets flagged as INAPPROPRIATE??? Come on PATCH readers! These forums are about free speech, not censorship; respect for the opinions of others, not just opinions with which one agrees. It's a real violation to me and to any poster whose entry gets removed NOT because those entries are inappropriate, but because readers don't want others to read them.
Debbie Pierce October 26, 2011 at 10:49 AM
I read your comment Bob, it was very well-worded and appropriate. Wasn't there an article here recently on the flagging and post-removal process? I thought I had read that multiple flagging did not necessarily mean a post would be removed. Patricia, would it be possible to please link to it?
blueskies October 26, 2011 at 12:17 PM
Hmmm let me think..what other school committee person of the past lived in Ct five-six days a week and continued to serve several terms? What current member spends much time (and lists her employment) as a realestate person in Florida?
DebEgan October 26, 2011 at 12:34 PM
I talked with my friend who is running for school board and he said that on the previous board there was one member who the leadership of that board thought was sleeping/living outside of Attleboro. This leadership included Helen Johnson, who is running in ward 4. That leadership came after that guy with pitchforks, even though he proved his residency with a lease agreement. The difference is that for this guy there wasn't proof. For Murphy he has admitted that he lives and sleeps in Boston.
Jackson, M October 26, 2011 at 12:57 PM
Mr. Murphy needs to work late nights and sleep in Boston, because he "cuts out early for round-table discussions." What happens if he is elected. I have to work late and stay in Boston because I had to cut out early for a School Committee Meeting or an Executive Session. He won't be able to devote his time to the constituents. If it already is an issue "cutting out early" and having to work late on other nights, what time will he have for the children of Atttleboro? He has admitted to leasing property when he took out papers. This shows that he needed to try to show that he has residency in Attleboro. He was not a resident and tried to cover it up by this. I still get mail at my parent's address, but I do not live there. Just because you are still listed at your parent's address, it does not mean you still live there. David, show us you lease from Boston. Do you pay taxes in Boston? I am sure you do. You are a resident of Boston. The election office needs to look into this further. If they do not, they have done great injustice to the constituents of Attleboro. Anyone can run for office and not even be a resident of the City? The constituent deserve the truth and this should be taken seriously and looked into.
Janice J October 26, 2011 at 01:49 PM
What address is on his license, car registration and state/federal taxes?
To Jimmy: you are incorrect. For some reason Mr. Murphy is pulling me into this post. I am not running At-Large so I am not Mr Murphy's opponent. Just because he is being questioned about his residency on the day that my opponent announced his candidacy why does this involve me?? Mr. Murphy: Maybe you can shed some light on this? We've only ever spoken once and had a very pleasant conversation. Why am I being included in this dialogue? But since you have brought me in and we are on the subject, I do have to wonder why you would need to lease an additional apartment in Attleboro if Attleboro is already your primary residence?
Jen Crowder October 31, 2011 at 12:41 AM
I have questioned this long before now. I even wrote to the state ethics commission over a month ago. I also went to the election committee to see about this however I could not file a formal complaint because the comments from the Patch about him not living here magically disappeared (flag much?) I am sure he knows I filed a complaint with the ethics commission.
Jen Crowder October 31, 2011 at 01:03 AM
Perfectly said!
Sarah Wilberg October 31, 2011 at 01:08 AM
Thank You JY. I've been saying for a while that this needed to go through the legal process. I hope the Elections comission looks into this and reports back before the election. Dave's selfish behavior could very likely cost the City $20k. I cannot in good conscience vote for David Murphy.
Jen Crowder October 31, 2011 at 01:12 AM
I'm referring to the flag comments from several weeks ago.
Lisa Holmes October 31, 2011 at 02:42 AM
My understanding is the ethics commission is not able to investigate this any further until he is elected and Sarah you are right. When they prove David Murphy is not a resident here, it will cost up to $20k to have a special election. If David cares so much about the city that gave him his education, then he needs to not be selfish and withdraw his candidacy. If he is looking to become Mayor some day, then he needs to move to Attleboro, live here awhile, maybe run for City Council, then take a shot at being Mayor. If he really cares about Attleboro, he will drop out of the race.
DebEgan October 31, 2011 at 03:16 AM
Lisa I couldn't agree more. Maybe David is a good heated person who will be a great school board member, but this could be very bad for Attleboro. Dave, if you are leasing a second apartment in Attleboro, which is what you said you did right before you pulled your papers to run, then show them to the Chronicle and Patch so that this is done. If you don't do this then you probably never leased this mysterious apartment in Attleboro, are trying to use your parents address so you can start your political run in Attleboro, and you really live and sleep in Boston. The people of Attleboro need to know that this will be investigated if Mr. Murphy wins a seat, which will be more bad press for the schools, and will likely lead to another city wide election to fill a vacated seat by a member who never should have been allowed to run in the first place. Dave, if you don't drop out now, and you can say that it is because you did not know the rules when you pulled your papers, and you end up being investigated, which you will, your political career, and anything that you might have done that could have been positive, will be destroyed. I look at you as someone who might be mayor someday, so drop out, move back, and run in two years.


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