Commission Calls for Hearing on School Committee Member's Residency

Committee member David Murphy says he looks forward to "resolving this issue definitively."

There will be a hearing on the residency of Attleboro School Committee member David Murphy, but the Election Commission will not be considering the specific matter that school district parent Jennifer Crowder had requested. Commission Chair Fran V. Hutton said the panel would only consider whether Murphy was a resident on July 16, . Her complaint alleges Murphy was not a resident last fall when he filed to run for school committee.

The four-member commission voted unanimously Thursday evening for a hearing. No date was set, but the hearing must take place before the Sept. 6 primary election.

"Agreeing to a hearing does not mean we agree or disagree with the material which has been brought to us, but that it meets the requirements for a hearing" Hutton said.

Hutton said she was told earlier in the day by a city attorney, who received information from the Secretary of State's office, that the commission could only consider Murphy's residency on the date the complaint was submitted. Crowder, who first challenged Murphy's residency last fall through a complaint to the state Ethics Commission and later filed a complaint to the city , said all of her actions have been at the advice of the local Election's Department. She added that she did not believe her effort would fail, despite Hutton's statement on what the commission could consider.

"I have a plan," said Crowder, who declined to reveal what her plan was.

Murphy did not attend the meeting. He wrote in an email to the media following the session, "I look forward to the hearing and resolving this issue definitively."

The school committee member that he rented an apartment in Boston, but has always maintained his permanent residency in Attleboro. He wrote in a statement last week that he no longer rents the Boston apartment.

In a separate email sent specifically to Patch on Thursday, Murphy wrote, "I ask those wishing to express their support abstain from commenting online about this matter until it is resolved."

The Election Commission will be the decision-making body at the hearing. This could be a concern for Crowder, who said there was evidence of bias from at least one commissioner. She noted that Commissioner Henry B. Reilly III made a motion to dismiss the complaint. His motion failed, and he later voted in favor of holding a hearing.

"There was evidence of bias because he made the motion instantly after they opened the meeting," Crowder said.

Several people associated with the school committee attended the meeting, including Committee members Brenda Furtado, Barbara Craw and Teri Enegren as well as the son of Committee member Bill Larson.

Gretchen Robinson August 01, 2012 at 09:27 PM
let's not bash "housewives" please. Otherwise I agree with you. This is all trumped up by troublemakers.
Jerry Chase August 02, 2012 at 03:01 AM
We must respect Ms. Crowder's determination to take care of her child. She claims that her child was not receiving the IEP special services for her child which are REQUIRED by law. If Mrs. Durkin and her regime are not doing what the law requires, we must at least allow room for the allegations per Ms. Crowder. She's only trying to protect her own child----a very noble thing. Whether she is right on the matter of Mr. Murphy is for the Election Commission and/or other legal authorities to determine. The common word on the street is that Murphy is a "plant" by the Dumas regime; but we don't know the truth of this. We DO know that Mrs. Durkin's modus operandi is that she thinks that she answers to no one. Not so; she was hired by, and thus is answerable to, the School Comm..
DebEgan August 02, 2012 at 04:03 AM
This will not be 'resolved definitely' unless the election's commission bases their hearing on Murphy's residency from back in November 2011 (if not November 2010 since there is a state one year residency requirement). No matter how much Mr.Murphy wants this to be 'resolved definitely' it won't be and will just keep on building until it goes to superior court. If Mr.Murphy really wanted to resolve this definitively then he would prove residency from November 2011. He won't so that means he can't! And if he can't then he shouldn't be serving! The election's commission and Chair Hutton should be ashamed!
Adam Edward August 03, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Okay Deb so Mr. Murphy HAS proven that he has been a resident since '99. So does he have your blessing to serve now? Let me guess now you have a conspiracy theory about this.
Gretchen Robinson August 03, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Ms. Crowder's charge, leveled at Mr. Murphy, that "you should be ashamed of yourself" is undeserved. Mr. Murphy has been the calm one, marshaling mounds of convincing evidence for this statement that his legal residence was in Attleboro. Who deserves the shame here? Certainly not Mr. Murphy. These charges have taken on the unpleasant taint of a vendetta. Time to climb down out of your position of utter moral certitude and turn your animosity to better, more positive uses.


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