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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.

George Pedro July 21, 2012 at 01:00 AM
@ Gretchen...How can you be proud of such dirty politics and how can you fix it? You try and you back it up with plenty of evidence (like Ms. Crowder) and you get a bias commission. Of course Murphy is a resident now. He went and changed everything over because he was told they only have to go back to the date of the last complaint (july 16th). Murphy should have to show his proof of residency back to the time he was elected. You do not get privileges in Boston (such as a Back Bay parking permit) without showing proof of residency in Boston. How can you deny that evidence? He had a Back Bay parking pass. Anyone can check this out. How convenient it is for Mr. Murphy to flip flop back in forth. I am resident of Boston today, but I will be a resident of Attleboro tomorrow and then back to Boston next week. Be real the only truth her is that Murphy lied and the facts are there to prove it. He was a resident of Boston and got parking privileges because of it. They do not give these passes out to non residents of Boston. I know, I work in Boston and either have to take the train or park in a garage. You can only get this permit if you are a resident of Boston. This has nothing to do with people not being happy, it has to do with expecting our elected officials to be residents of Attleboro. Vendetta this vendetta that Murphy supporters are trying to turn this around into a vendetta. Truth is it is about him lying and he should not be allowed to hold his seat on SC.
Gretchen Robinson July 21, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Attleboro Teacher: thanks for writing and thanks for pointing out what so many here cannot hear: it's the children who get a second rate education when the Superintendent, School Committee members, Parents are fighting. Fine role models you all are. When a school district gets a new superintendent, there's a lag before he or she starts becoming effective. That, to me, is one reason not to change superintendents like you change your shoes.
Mary Dacosta July 21, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Gretchen, have you even read the complaint and seen the evidence that is attached. I believe you are allowing some personal issue cloud your judgement. The proof is in black and white. If you choose to ignore this, that is your perogative; but this does not change the fact that the facts are there and you are choosing not to look at them. You need to put your personal feeling aside and take a good look at the evidence. This is solid proof that Mr. Murphy mislead the voters and said he was a resident when he was running for office. I will bet he is a resident now. But, this is not what is in question.
Gretchen Robinson July 21, 2012 at 01:14 AM
The Hearing is when the evidence will be presented. I trust the City to do what is right, especially when I see so many people stirring this pot who have nothing logical to say, whose own 'personal feelings' have blinded us. I don't have any personal issues. You don't even know me. I try to assess situations on their merits. And so far there is nothing there but griping and a great hue and cry over nothing. I am only suspicious and concerned when there is a need to be. So far the only ones I'm suspicious and concerned about are those out to dump a good committee member off the SC. Blind, negative, spiteful, hateful: that's what I see in the postings here.
Gen Danko July 21, 2012 at 01:15 AM
I see people trying to make a difference and getting off their "duff", but it doesn't matter because of crooked politicians like Murphy and the people who think he walks on water. People are trying to make a difference, but then have real hard evidence dismissed even when it is put right in front of their nose. Murhpy has made his name as lying, sneaky politican. He is ready for Washington now. He has officially make the big leagues. Deception and putting the blame on others seem to be top qualifications for politicians these days. Your family should be real proud of you Murphy. These are the qualities every mother and father wants to see in their child.
Gretchen Robinson July 21, 2012 at 01:25 AM
this conversation is degenerating and I think this thread should end. Nothing new is being said. Your charges against Mr. Murphy are your opinion. That others share them doesn't mean a lot. They are not fact the hearing will, I think, rightly and fairly say there is no merit to the appeal. You can spin your wheels all you want and get bitter, but where does that get you? I am proud of my family, my husband, a minister, and our son, a graduate of Attleboro schools. I have met Mr. Murphy once at the forum and was very impressed by his commitment. He was voted in and immediately the negativity started.
John Andrews July 21, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Gretchen they won't let the evidence come forward. They are only going to take the complaint in to account as of July 16th. Murphy has made all the necessary changes now and can see as of July 16th I am a resident. Ask him to prove it prior. Also lets be honest, Murphy has caused all this hate and lie business. He has put negative statements in the press everytime some other school committee member disagrees with him. How can you ignore this? He has caused so much controversy. This issue has nothing to do with school commitee. Last time I looked, Crowder was not on school committee. Again, Murphy is trying to put the focus on another school committee member to take the focus off himself. He has a clear vendetta against a fellow member or two and is trying to turn this around on them. Without evidence, people are saying that school committee members who went to the election commission meetings are backing Crowder. Where is this evidence? Murphy is starting these rumors also. I am looking at facts impartially and I see that Murphy is not addressing the true complaint. If he was a resident at the time of election, he needs to come forward and prove it. No one is challenging his residency as of the July 16th. Again, his arrogance is being perceived as him thinking the public is ignorant and stupid and he can just avoid the true allegations. This is very underhanded and not honorable. Mr. Murphy's conduct speaks for itself.
Mary Sylvia July 21, 2012 at 01:33 AM
If the commission will not allow any evidence to be valid that pertains prior to July 16th, than the commission has failed the city. The complaint states that Murphy was not a resident at the time of election. How fair is this to the city. Of course this will be thrown out. The commission is ignoring the date in question. How tripe is this. How can you say this is fair and impartial? The worst part is us as a community are allowing this to happen. Does the public have a say in making the commission go back to Murphy's campaign and when he was elected to prove residency. if we do, I will gladly go to city hall and demand they go back to this time frame. Why won't he prove this to the public? It only makes one think that he really has something hide....like not being a resident at this time.
Gretchen Robinson July 21, 2012 at 01:36 AM
it all sounds so Machiavellian and preposterous...
Pietro Fiamma July 21, 2012 at 01:46 AM
ok people, you want to talk about crooked politicians? How about you refresh your page and read this article: http://attleboro.patch.com/articles/judge-rules-against-attleboro-redevelopment-authority. check out the PFD.. At least Mr. Murphy isn't costing the City HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of Dollars. Even if he gets the boot a "special election" will only cost about $20K. I love that this whole hubbub is over this guy, who is so insignificant. And yet Attleboro keeps electing the same Mayor over and over and give him permission to waste all of our money. . Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. ( I know, I know off topic...)
Sarah Curtis July 21, 2012 at 02:55 AM
@ Gretchen... Stuff a sock in it already!!! Nobody cares about ur "support" for another liar within the district!! Why do you wear blinders?? Ur husband is a minister??....So I'm sure he does not condone crimes against children?? I am a parent of a child with a disability who might I ad has an IEP not being followed amongst many other violations, agencies have been contacted and soon when all this leaks I hope ur conscience swallows u!!!
Attleboro Teacher July 21, 2012 at 04:09 AM
I think everyone needs to step back and cool off. Enjoy your weekend with your families.
DebEgan July 21, 2012 at 04:28 AM
"I know that he has NOW changed all of his documents"? Do you here yourself? He is NOW in compliance. I don't care if he is NOW in compliance. He wasn't in November when he was elected! I suspect he won't be able to "make this go away" because what the Election's Commission is doing, deciding this only on where he lives now, 8 months after the elction and against the complaint, is just wrong. When this goes to the state level Attleboro is going to look really bad!!!
DebEgan July 21, 2012 at 04:29 AM
@ Keith So are you saying that School Board member Bill Larson's son was there supporting his colleague? Why else would he be there?
DebEgan July 21, 2012 at 04:35 AM
Evidence of if Murphy is a resident on July 16th, not in November like he should have been. I am so disappointed with Attleboro with this. The citizens have been let down by the Election's office, who doesn;t check if someone who submits to run actually lives here and told Miss Crowder, from what I read in a different article, that they could only investigate IF he was elected. We were let down by Mr.Murphy who apparently was not a citizen in November when he was elected. And now we're being let down by this Election's Commission who won't decide this on whether Murphy was a citizen when he was elected. It's like saying I can run for Governor of Ohio and IF elected I can then move there! That is not right and what the Election's Commission is doing stinks so bad!
DebEgan July 21, 2012 at 04:40 AM
I just heard from a friend that the Election's Commission referenced an opinion from their lawyer during the meeting. That should make that opinion letter, assuming it is in letter form, public information. If this opinion was just verbally, which I can see this corrupt Election's Commission claiming, then it shouldn't have been used in the ruling. So I think both the media and the person who filed this charge should officially request this legal opinion. I would not be surprised if it doesn't even exist.
DebEgan July 21, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Also, didn't I read that there is a rule that someone has to, by state law, live in Attleboro for one year before being elligible to run for office? That's funny since it goes against what I heard the Election's Office was saying back in November. But they also told people that they couldn't do anything about Murphy's residency until after he was elected. The Election's Office is not doing a good job and are telling people false things. Someone should be losing their job in the Election's Office. Does anyone know if Miss Crowder made the accusation that Mr.Murphy wasn't a citizen for the required year? If not then she should. If she did, how could they throw that one out? If it is required by law to live here for one full year before November, and Murphy can't show proof of residency from November 2010, then he should not be serving.
Lillian Houle July 21, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Attleboro Teacher....You know first hand how terrible our school have become and this all happened under the rule of Durkin. The turn over and violations started 5 years ago, hmm, this is before the prior committee and even before the snack lady and Enegren. Let's put blame where blame is do...on the Superintendent and people like Murphy are just there to support her. They even found a guy (Murphy) willing to lie about his residence to push to be elected. Attleboro Teacher you must talk to others and see first hand what goes on in the schools. Murphy is supporting this destructive behavior. As an educator you know that this is not productive for the children. The only way to initiate change is to be verbal (even in a post) and take action and improve our school system. If you step back and cool off, you will not be standing up for what is right. This is the democratic way, stand up for what is right and demand change. This is what needs to be done with the elections commission. They need to do a service to this community and investigate Murphy's residence back to one year before he was elected. Ms. Crowder please present this one year residency issue and hopefully they will be able to investigate. Murphy has violated the law and should not be able to serve on school committee. Once he is gone, I think all the fighting will stop and they can get down to business. Murphy has causes so much trouble because of his lies.
Lillian Houle July 21, 2012 at 03:21 PM
@P. Fiamma this is just as important as the Mayor and ARA. As a parent, my child is more important than anything my city, country or anything else. As a parent my child comes before anything. This why people who do not have children do not understand this issue. This thing with Murphy is a big deal because it affects my children. There is nothing more important in the world. Anyone who down plays the education of children does not have their issues prioritized. I do agree that the city will continue to be poorly run under Dumas, but this pales in comparison to an issue that affects a child. My child first, city government later. There is nothing more important in a community than the children that live there. This is why this Murphy thing should become national news and maybe then Murphy will realize he cannot use our children for his own personal reasons and gains. Murphy can't understand how a parent feels because he is not one. A parent's love for their children is stronger than any law or bond you can ever experience.
christopher tingus July 21, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Mr. Murphy should step down immediately if his position in the community has been attained by false pretenses. If not, then it is necessary that Mr. Murphy stand and speak to the community about any and all allegations providing documented defense. If this gentleman is at all interested in the community-at large, well, facts are facts and if Mr.Murphy is holding this position unlawfully having shunned the town's election requirements, if necessary, I, too will stand shoulder to shoulder with the parents of Attleboro and this - charade - by those who We "entrust" to have the integrity in serving the community and Not placing their personal agenda fiirst. Mr. Murphy, step down! If not, call a community meeting and explain and document your position and I promise you that WBZ will be on hand to present this story on the 11:00 p newscast! the facts are the facts and those within our town halls and city halls who are responsible for assuring that our election laws and rules are upheld should call the Justice Department if necessary if in fact there is any fact that Mr. Murphy should Not be in the community leadership role he holds. God Bless us all! Christopher Tingus chris.tingus@gmail.com
Gretchen Robinson July 22, 2012 at 12:51 AM
okay, so prove legally that he's committed crimes against children. Otherwise you just sound irrational --and hateful in your responses
christopher tingus July 22, 2012 at 03:45 AM
If Mr. Murphy has violated election law or local by-laws he should step down- it is simple - if Mr. Murphy has not violated such, he is within his Right to retain his position - it is simple - and those responsible for knowing this answer, well? It does not have to be such an emotionally charged and devisive issue and Mr. Murphy should stand tall and meet the community and if not, step down. As far as an individual with or without children, this is not the case and there are plenty of advocates who do not have children. By Monday, town clerk and whomever else should notify the residents and taxpayers of the community whether this gentleman has or has not violated town by-laws and election requirements. This should not become a long debate, yes or no. Explain in detail. Christopher Tingus chris.tingus@gmail.com
DebEgan July 22, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Found this on the Election's Commission website while I was looking for the contact to write about how their decision and the way they are handling this issue is a travesty! This was on their website: "It is the responsibility of the Attleboro Board of Election Commissioners to comply with all local, state and federal election laws and regulations." I would say they have failed in their job and all four members should step down if this is how they plan to uphold the law! I urge all Attleboro residents to contact Chairperson Hutton to tell her what they are doing is flat out wrong! This is not going to solve anything and this will not end with their fake hearing. The citizens and they shouldn't care about whether Mr.Murphy is a resident today, this needs to be about November!!!!!!! Wasn't that when the first complaint was brought to the Election's Office? Someone is upstructing justice and this should become a bigger story (network story maybe) because of that! The email address to send your complaints to is elections1@cityofattleboro.us
Kendra Perkins August 01, 2012 at 09:13 PM
It is a shame if Mr.Murphy steps down. If he does I sure hopes he runs for Mayor. He seems to have a lot of great ideas!! I would rather have him then Attleboro housewives who just looking for a battle!!
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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