Challenge of School Committee Member's Residency Refiled

The document submitted by school district parent Jennifer Crowder says Committee member David Murphy was not a resident of Attleboro during the 2011 election. Murphy says the complaint "is riddled with inaccuracies and lies."

School district parent Jennifer Crowder has not backed down from her mission to invalidate David Murphy's November 2011 election to the Attleboro School Committee.  that she had not filed a proper challenge, Crowder on Monday submitted a new document to the Election's Department at .

The revised document, which is attached to this article, contains legal language and is typed, looking significantly different from the previous handwritten submittal. In the complaint, Crowder alleges Murphy did not meet the residency requirements to run for school committee last year because he lived in Boston.

Among the features that she claims proves he was not an Attleboro resident is that a clerk at the Registry of Motor Vehicles told her in May of this year that Murphy's drivers license and car registration were not assigned to an Attleboro address. She wrote that he also maintained a Boston residence parking permit until May of this year.

"I respectfully request that the city of Attleboro Elections Commission investigate Mr. Murphy's voter registration at the time of his registration to run for the Attleboro School Committee and determine that he was not eligible to be nominated nor elected in November of 2011," Crowder wrote.

The commission voted unanimously last week to reject Crowder's original complaint because it was not sworn and did not contain specific reasons why she believed Murphy was a Boston resident. The new complaint is sworn, but Murphy says Crowder will not be successful in her latest attempt.

"Ms. Crowder's complaint, which is her third attempt at raising this issue, will fail just like her first two attempts," wrote Murphy in an email to Attleboro Patch, referring to her complaint rejected last week and one that was filed last year with the state Ethics Commission. "The sworn statement she has provided to the Election Commission is riddled with inaccuracies and lies. Ms. Crowder's dishonest and politically motivated assertions will prove to be a sad waste of her time and the city's resources."

Murphy, who grew up in Attleboro and graduated from , publicly stated during the 2011 campaign that he rented an apartment in Boston, where he works as an attorney. But he said his permanent address was at a house located at 49 Pioneer Circle in Attleboro. He also rented an apartment in Attleboro. Murphy wrote in a statement last week that he no longer rents the Boston apartment.

Editor's Note: The PDF of the complaint was replaced with a different version on 7/26/12. The updated version contains a page (page 36, marked as evidence no. 9) that was not in the previous version. The version currently attached came from the office of the city Election's Department.

Tim Silva July 17, 2012 at 06:49 PM
@ Wendy Stavros--"It appears"????? What exactly does that mean? There are NO facts in the complaint. Not one. All speculation. Innuendo. "Verbal confirmation". Classic Brenda, Barbara, Teri and Jim. Throw in some legal terms, reference a few policies and simply pretend the crap speculation and innuendo are true. What you need is to be "apparently" guilty of something so that others can comment on you based on what "appears" to be.....bad people doing bad things without a shread of fact....all in the name of politics. A tremendous disservice to the students and professionals in our school system and fully supported by people like you.
Briana Auclair July 17, 2012 at 07:22 PM
The way I see it, Murphy is using the SC as a stepping stone for a political career. He probably decided to start small and local with something he figured he couldn't possibly lose- a small city school council. I mean whats so hard about it? He grew up in this city and was a student in our system- piece of cake. All he had to do was tug on heart strings with things like "I truly care about the youth of this city!" "I used to be one of these children and I am going to work hard for them!" "I want to make this an environment I'd want my children to be in" blah blah blah. It's what I'd say if I were running. Law school has entire classes on how to communicate efficiently and how to verbally sway people the way you want. THATS WHAT LAWYERS DO (I'd know, I was going to be one.) You all bought it hook, line and sinker. You couldn't have PAID me to vote for him. I saw the Boston Apartment as a red flag from the beginning (he lists THREE residences, his PARENTS house, the Boston apartment and the Attleboro apartment. He couldn't just use his Attleboro apartment as his address, he had to bring his parents home into this too? He really lives in all three places? What is he, a gypsy?) Don't vote for a young guy out of law school with no children in the system and multiple addresses. It's just logic. You'll all see what I mean when he suddenly is running for city council. Question is, which home city will he pick- Boston or Attleboro?
Rob Geddes July 17, 2012 at 07:32 PM
"Diversity and differences in opinion should be used constructively to produce well-informed, educationally and fiscally sound decisions." This was so brilliantly stated I thought it should be reposted.
Ronda "Roni" Lodge July 17, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Touché Briana! You said it all and briefly if I might add. @Rob, why do you always bring up Ms. Enegren. I don't see how she has anything to do with where David Murphy lives or what is going on with the minutes of the closed door meeting. Even though I did read that she was at the meeting when the infamous vote was taken :) What's the deal?
Jerry Chase July 17, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Shannon, Bullying is not limited to the SC: it's practiced on occasion by the City Council President, who has the strong support of Mayor Dumas for whom F. C. is an unqualified lackey. Frank Cook will break Council Rules or Massachusetts General Laws if it serves the regime's purposes; and the really bad thing about such wilful infractions is that he is not even critized for it, let alone that charges aren't filed. Some people can operate with no conscience, it seems.
SD July 17, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Who cares if he is going to use this as a political stepping stone. He was voted in, shows up at every meeting and fulfills his obligation. To be a politically viable move, you would think that he would take a reasonable and sound stance on voting matters. Controversy would not be the best thing to have on your record so early in a career. If he disclosed the fact that he had an apartment in Boston as well, it didn't seem to concern him. Now that the public has an idea on which way his opinions sway, certain parties want him out. Are those who accuse him (and others) of being "rubber stamps" for the current administration doing anything any different that what you accuse them of? Are they not trying to manipulate the composition of the school committee to steer in a different direction? I think its very insulting to each member to have the public state that their opinion/vote is anything but their own.
Jen Crowder July 17, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Thank you everyone for the support. I encourage everyone to come to the Special Meeting scheduled for Thursday July 19, 2012 at 6 PM in the City Hall.
Rob Geddes July 17, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Roni- Not sure what you mean about me always brining up Ms. Enegren. I never would have claimed that she was not at the "infamous" executive session- it was her comment that triggered the motion to go into executive session. I mentioned her here because her and Mr. Murphy have both had their residency questioned (formally or informally) since before the election took place. I was trying to illustrate that, regardless of how you feel about these cases, we should be able to get passed it to focus on education related issues.
Ronda "Roni" Lodge July 17, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I think you are a little misinformed Rob. What triggered the closed door executive session meeting had nothing to do with Teri Enegren's comment. It was to discuss the extension of the contract of the Superientendent. Part of that discussion was the discussion not to offer Durkin another contract extention or new contract (based on both sets of minutes) and give her the contract she wanted, including the $10,000 annuity. If I am incorrect, please correct me but I have been following this contract thing since the last committee voted on it. When was Teri Enegren's residency in question? I'm a little lost on that one.
Wendy Stavros July 17, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I'm just not certain that growing up in Attleboro makes you eligible to run for an elected position. I'm reading all these comments and whether David is a stand up guy or not, he admitted not living in Attleboro. Briana has a good point, it was a big red flag that we all missed :(
Rob Geddes July 17, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Roni- Here is the May 8th article that describes the meeting: http://attleboro.patch.com/articles/status-of-superintendent-s-contract-disputed Right under the headline it references Ms. Enegren commenting on the need for a search committee. She even made a motion to start a search committee in the public meeting that appeared to be voted down 6-3. After that the executive session was called. If her comments did not trigger it, they set the wheels in motion. It is an interesting read in hindsight. A number of people have questioned Ms. Enegren's residency on this site. In fact, the questions became so prevelant during the election that Ms. Enegren submitted a column to the Patch prior to the election where she defended her connection to the community via email and other technology.
M Carvalho July 17, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Mr. Murphy has caused the all this bad press for the school committee. He puts comments in the paper that are untrue and now someone finally has the facts to pursue his residency. He is the cause of the problems on school committee. We should not be blaming other members. Murphy has triggered committee members to defend themselves because he calls the press everytime he does not agree with something another committee member expresses. He has brought all this on himself. If the RMV gave Ms. Crowder information, then it is them who are wrong here not her. Mr. Murphy clearly is not a resident and needs to admit that to the public. The superintendent is done after 2013 so it does not matter if Murphy is her supporter or not. What matters is he doesn't support the schools and making the school committee look dysfunctional. When Murphy is caught in deception it is turned around that it is other school committee members causing this, but in reality it is his own actions. It is unfair trying to say the school committee members are not being constructive because you have one rotten egg on the committee. He started his own controversy and no else but himself should be blamed. He needs to respect the opinnion of others on the committee and not try to discredit them by sending in a statement to the paper. He is trying to cover up to much and it has finally caught up with him.
Wendy Stavros July 17, 2012 at 09:43 PM
I do respect David and thought he was an asset to the school committee. I still think he is bright and could bring a lot to the table. I am upset that he can't just put this to rest by proving once and for all that he is and always has been a true resident, not just a child of long time residents. But I can't see how that can be when someone else pointed out here, he has three residences, that seems outlandish. I do think he needs to refrain from constanting commenting to the media on every action the committee takes that he disagrees with. If you are here to stay then please do what we elected you to do and please, stop acting like a lawyer in the school committee meetings. I watch them and when you decide to add something or ask question, I feel like I'm watching LA Law.
Wendy Stavros July 17, 2012 at 09:47 PM
I guess I missed the memo Rob. I think you need to look at the school committee agenda for the executive session. You are barking up the wrong tree. This was triggered by the Superintendent's contract extension. Ms. Enegren just stated that she felt there was no extension because the Superintendent couldnt seem to negotiate unless she got exactly what she wanted, I agree, that doesn't seem like negotiations to me. Then she made a motion for a new Superintendent search. That didn't pass the committee. As for her residency, I think people questioned attendence, not residency.
Rob Geddes July 18, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Wendy- "Tomato, Tomato" (The phrase loses it point in writing, but you know what I mean.) Let's say it was the contract negotiation that triggered the executive session. Ms. Enegren brought up a search committee based the contract discussion that took place in previous meeting. It eventually went into executive session because the contract discussion continued despite Mr. Tyler's caution and suggestion to tread lightly and not discuss it at that time. You can also say that people have questioned Ms. Enegren's attendance. But isn't her attendance a result of spending time at a second residence in Florida? And isn't a second residence the issue being discussed with Mr. Murphy? Granted, there are differences in terms of Ms. Enegren's second home as opposed to Mr. Murphy's primary residence. The PeopleSmart report that Ms. Crowder submitted was updated with the Pioneer Cir. address 5 months before the election. If my name was run through that report, it would probably list addresses in five cities after my current address in Attleboro. Ms. Enegren's name would probably bring up the Florida address. So why is Mr. Murphy being vilified? The knock on Mr. Murphy today has been that he doesn't care about our schools or kids. What, other than being a previous resident of Boston, leads one to believe this? And how is a second home relevant? He has yet to miss a meeting and has been very involved in school events across the district.
Rob Geddes July 18, 2012 at 12:41 AM
I am not saying he is a better member than Ms. Enegren by any means or that one situation is more right or wrong than the other. I just linked the two because the biggest criticism of each is very similar. The backlash against Mr. Murphy makes me wonder if it would be the same for Ms. Enegren if she were perceived as a supporter of Dr. Durkin or if Mr. Murphy would not have to be dealing with this if he were perceived to be opposed to Dr. Durkin.
SD July 18, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Well put. The comparison is quite similar in many respects. Neither candidate tried to hide their multiple residences. Ms. Enegren publicly addressed the issue and her ward elected her. Mr. Murphy's was addressed prior to the election and he was elected at large. I agree that it is only an issue now because of the perception that he is more aligned with dr. Durkins methodology. I like to beloved myself a reasonable person. While I agree with and support a majority of her decisions I don't consider myself a supporter or a rubber stamp. I think this is all of no benefit to our city.
SD July 18, 2012 at 01:11 AM
I too wonder why Ms Furtado and Ms Craw went to this hearing. Were they showing support for either side? Were they representing the school committee? Were they trying to sway an opinion way or the other? The one thing I to think is that out committee needs to present itself as a united party, not one blatantly divided.
DebEgan July 18, 2012 at 01:14 AM
If this does lead to a new election, didn't Murphy say he would pay for it back when he was running? I remember that he made the statement back in October that even though he had a Boston apartment, that he lives at his parent's house, but if it turned out he was wrong he would pay for the election, no? If he didn't say that then I think he should! Does anyone know where in City Hall this meeting will be held? Is it at the city council chambers? Thinking of going. Want to see how they blow this off! @Rob Geddes-You and others have brought up Ms.Enegren's residence many times, but I would guess that she can provide things like a valid Attleboro driver's license, a registration in Attleboro, a lease agreement, utility bills with an Attleboro address, etc.-all from when she was elected. Her attendence is a totally different issue than her residence. Murphy doesn't seem able to do any of these things. If he could, as someone above said, wouldn't he have done this already so this would have been put to bed. @ Wendy-"LA Law"-LOL!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe I'm prejuduce against lawyers but they should be barred from serving in elected positions. They just want to lawyer every little thing and they do it with threats. One thing I don't like is how Mr.Murphy is attacking Ms.Crowder. He may not agree with her and may assume she is doing this for some unexplained reason, but attacking a parent and citizen of Attleboro is not the right thing to do! I have lost some respect for him!
JustSaying July 18, 2012 at 01:58 AM
DebEgan...To say you have lost some respect for Dave would suggest you had some. I've read your attacks on him many times. I personally don't see anything wrong with his statement please do tell how he attacked Ms Crowder???
c. williams July 18, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Rob, we all know you are friends with Murphy and your judgement is slightly clouded. This has nothing to do with who likes the superintendent and who doesn't. Murphy runs to the press everytime he disagrees with other committee members and has caused all this negative press. This type of person is an antagonist and is exactly what the school committee doesn't need. The school committtee would not be this dysfunctional or in negative light in the press if Murphy could learn how to agree to disagree and not persecute anyone who disagrees with him. He won't even show proof of residency. Why is he so difficult? I believe he just likes the media coverage and having his name in the press. The school committtee is moving the district forward and someone like Murphy is hindering the process. I agree with the poster above, people are blaming hard working school committee members for Murphy's faults. Leave them out of it and focus on what is being shown here. Murphy has multiple residences. I guess when it is convenient he claims he is either a resident of Boston or Attleboro. Which one is Murphy? It is harder to lie than tell the truth. After awhile it all wraps up into one big mess. Your mess is now out of control Murphy. Fess up with the truth. One who has so much controversy and much to hide should not be making decisions for our schools.
Patty C July 18, 2012 at 02:49 AM
It is comical that people compare Enegren's residency to Murphy's. Enegren may have a summer home, but she lives in Attleboro. Enegren owns a home here, she owns it not her mom and dad. She is a resident. Murphy has or up until recently had his own apartment. This is were he lived. Using Mommy and Daddy's address after you have grown up and moved out into your own apartment, does not mean you are a resident at Mommy and Daddy's address. How can you even compare the two? Enegren is an Attleboro homeowner and resident, she pays taxes to Attleboro. Murphy paid taxes to Boston. Hmmm...think about this. Wouldn't you pay taxes in the city you live? Yes, and Enegren does this....Murphy doesn't. Murphy live in Boston. Enegren lives in Attleboro. As anyone can see who watches the meetings, attendance isn't everything. At least Enegren does her homework and resolves the issues whether she is infront of the camera or not. Murphy just double talks and half the time can't make a decision at all. The decisions he does make (after he gives us all some lawyer type explanation) have not been beneficial to the school system at all. All I can see is that he has many good friends who will defend him because of his personality and based on his performance on the committee and they all look away when he deceives the public.
Raposa July 18, 2012 at 02:55 AM
I have only seen a few members on school committee do their job and not be intimidated by Durkin. Furtado, Enegren, Craw and Parent seem to know what is going on in the schools and aren't afraid of Durkin and tell it to us straight. Once we have a new superintendent you will see how well the committee will work. Without Durkin the committee can focus on the real issues. She is the root of the problem and Murphy is just one of her pawns. I for one am so glad this will be over when she is gone. I hope the members who stuck it out and let the public see the trught hang on and run again. Without Durkin, her blatant supporters will not run again and the school will benefit.
Raposa July 18, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Murphy needs to stop look in the mirror and stop criticizing Attleboro residents. He seems to have so much to hide. Bring the proof forward Murphy and stop this ridiculous media frenzy. If you really ran for the benefit of the Attleboro School System prove it. Show us proof of residency. The more I read, the more I feel that you are unable to do this.
Wendy Stavros July 18, 2012 at 10:19 AM
When the new committee, in it's entirely, was elected in November it was a sigh of relief. You could see that their plan was to work collaboratively, it was apparent at many of the meetings at the beginning of the year. It seems that when the contract of the Superintendent came up that is when things went south. I would have to agree with whoever made the statement then when David does not agree he runs to the media with comments and pre-written statements. Please correct me if I'm wrong but I have been a talking with some other parents and we all believe that statements to the media regarding school committee issues should be coming from the Chairperson as the representative of the school committee. If this were the case, a lot of the above dialogue would not be happening. I guess I'm just disappointed in David. He was not forthcoming with his second address until someone discovered it then he explained the "3" residences. I'm still trying to figure out why if his primary residence is his parents house then why rent an apartment in Attleboro? I'm just hoping this ends soon and if David truly cared about how much the city is spending on this issue, he would have just produced proof of his long time address at the beginning. Get it over with already.
Pietro Fiamma July 18, 2012 at 11:20 AM
I am just curious, could you please spicifically state why this ONE SC member is your singular focus? In previous articles you state that your son goes to Willett, why are you not calling Chris O'Neil on the carpet too? He is virtually MUTE on the SC and Willett is his ward. How about hiring an advocate for your child? That helped motivate the school to get my child what she needed and more. I think that you may need to simplify your focus on to what is paramount: YOUR CHILD.
Rob Geddes July 18, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Deb, I cannot remember bringing up Ms. Enegren's residence at any point. I have commented on her in regards to the School Committee's relationship with the Superintendent, but not on her residency. She has a second house in Florida- good for her. I wish I could have a second home somewhere. If her attendance at meetings is low because of time spent at a second home, then the two topics cannot be completely separated from each other. As far as producing proof of residency, Mr. Murphy has not been required by law to do so. He has made the decision not to do so. That is his choice. If he is required by law to prove that he lives in Attleboro, then what? I still have not seen anyone answer any of my questions regarding what he has done- other than have a second residence- to demonstrate a lack of caring for or interest in our schools. At the end of the day, both of these people were elected by their respective constituencies with the residency issues as public knowledge and discussed in the media and commented on by voters. Both have people that feel they have done a good job. Again, my overall point in this has been that the Committee on the whole needs to stop finding themselves in positions where they need to defend themselves. Maybe part of this is in their own decision making. Maybe part of it is us letting them do the jobs we elected them to do.
Rob Geddes July 18, 2012 at 01:05 PM
C, Please read all of my comments thoroughly. I have said repeatedly that how a School Committee acts and sets themselves up to be portrayed should have nothing to do with who does and does not like the Superintendent. In an ideal world, we would have no clue about how someone on the Committee feels about Dr. Durkin or any other administrator because they would conduct themselves very objectively. And, as far as I know, I do not know you personally and cannot begin to describe your relationship with any person. I ask that you extend the same courtesy to me. If your definition of being "friends with" someone is spending a year in high school with them and then not seeing or commuicating with them for 14 years, then yes Dave and I are friends. If you are hearing otherwise, then you have an unreliable source.
D Sanderson July 18, 2012 at 08:44 PM
This whole nonsense about the SC not acting appropriately is hogwash. They aren't screaming at each other at meetings or jumping across the table to defend their views (either pro or con for the Superintendent). They're acting like a governing body should. Disagreeing (respectfully) to find the best solution to the issues. If we had a SC who always agreed and did always agree, we would not have the best education for the children of Attleboro. I for one do not want to see a SC kissing and hugging and saying. I am wrong, you are right, I am sorry, let's just stop disagreeing and do whatever the Administration wants. This committee is doing what it should, it's bringing all views to the table. This media frenzy by Murphy has to stop. The chairman of the committee should be the one putting explanations in the media, not Mr. Murphy. He is publically trying to call out certain committee members and this is the only thing I see disturbing about how the SC members are acting. People who like certain members are saying they're doing a great job and others who don't like them are saying that they're vindictive and are there to embarrass the Superintendent. I don't see this at all. If these childish comments by Murphy were to stop being put out in the press, this would all stop. The residency thing though is tough to deny, there's alot of evidence against him. But, this is Attleboro and Crowder won't get a fair hearing because Murphy knows commission members, they will let it slide.
Jerry Chase July 22, 2012 at 09:12 PM
D. Sanderson makes more sense here than any other commentary I have read on this subject.


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