Residency Complaint Against School Committee Member Dismissed

A city solicitor says the complaint filed by Jennifer Crowder against David Murphy does not meet the standards for the Election Commission to consider it. Crowder says she will file a new complaint. Murphy calls her a pawn on a pathetic crusade.

One chapter of an inquiry into the residency of Attleboro School Committee member David Murphy concluded Wednesday evening with the Election Commission unanimously dismissing a complaint filed by school district parent Jennifer Crowder. But a new chapter could begin as soon as Thursday afternoon because Crowder said she would file a revised complaint.

The commission dismissed the complaint alleging Murphy lives in Boston by following an opinion issued by attorney Lauren Galvin from the Office of the City Solicitor (the opinion is attached to this article). Galvin wrote that for a complaint to be considered it must meet six criteria, which Crowder's letter does not do.

Among the issues with Crowder's document were that it was not sworn and does not state why "the complainant has reason to believe and does believe that Mr. David Murphy has been illegally or incorrectly registered in Attleboro and the reasons for such a belief."

Commissioner Henry B. Reiley III was the only person on the four-member panel to comment prior to the vote at . He said, "Ms. Crowder only says she suspects David Murphy is a resident of Boston, which is equivalent to rumor without facts."

Crowder said after the meeting that she had been given incorrect information by the local election's office on how to file the complaint. She said her revised document would be sworn and state why she believes Murphy is a Boston resident, including RMV and tax information proving he does not live in Attleboro.

Murphy did not attend the meeting, but he issued a statement:

Ms. Crowder is misguided about the laws of our state, and misinformed about the facts of my life. Maintaining an apartment in Boston does not disqualify someone as a resident of Attleboro. Incidentally, I relinquished possession of the particular apartment that Ms. Crowder was so concerned about three months before she initiated her pathetic crusade.

He continued:

Ms. Crowder and those using her as a pawn for their political antics do not represent the values of the Attleboro community, which is a community I am honored to serve.

[Murphy's statement is attached to this article.]

Crowder said she would respond to Murphy's statement after she completed the revised complaint. Regarding the allegation that she is a pawn, Crowder said she is operating as an individual with the research assistance of another Attleboro resident whose name she declined to reveal. Crowder said the person helping her does not follow local politics.

Crowder said her concern about Murphy's residency is due to the problems she said she has had .

"If there are going to be people who are involved with our children and how the schools are run, they should have an interest in it," Crowder said. "It's nothing against him personally, but he doesn't have a family here. He's not involved actually in the schools. How can he really know what's going on other than hearing from us parents, especially when many [school officials] don't listen to us parents anyhow. What's his interest in the school committee?"

Murphy, who grew up in Attleboro and graduated from declined to respond to Crowder's comment.

Among those attending the commission meeting were City Councilor Jeremy Denlea, School Committee members Brenda Furtado and Barbara Craw and former School Committee member Ray DiCiaccio.

DiCiaccio asked the commissioners if they had the ability to address the matter of a school committee member who misses many meetings because she spends time in Florida. He was presumably speaking about Teri Enegren, .

"To me, that's a far, far greater issue than what's been brought up here," DiCiaccio said.

Chair Fran V. Hutton told him that would not be an issue the commission would consider.

Enegren wrote in  last year that she spends 45 percent of her time in Florida because she practices real estate there and her significant other lives in the state.

She wrote, "I cannot always be in attendance in Room 178E [for school committee meetings], but I am diligent in my efforts to stay up to date and do my research ... I make it a priority to stay informed about everything that goes on in the district and I have always gone over and above what is expected from a school committee member." 

Maureen Tyler July 13, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Gretchen Robinson July 13, 2012 at 02:57 PM
SD, thank you for your sanity. Emotions are running high. I can understand that when you have a child with a disability but 'get a grip' and start thinking and reflecting what you can do. Anger and rage get a person nowhere. Time to rethink and get more information. A little humility please, a little reasoning about the best course here for your child.
Gretchen Robinson July 13, 2012 at 02:58 PM
you are on a crusade, for your own purposes, I would think. Maybe you have too much time on your hands??
Gretchen Robinson July 13, 2012 at 03:00 PM
just get out of the way of the School Committee. Attacking a school committee member with bogus complaints works against the SC doing its work. By the way you attack people who try to reason with you, you demonstrate how enraged you are.
Kathy Taylor July 13, 2012 at 03:11 PM
I have also had Mr. Murphy not return phone calls or speak with me. The point is if he had children in the schools and lived in Attleboro, then maybe he would be more concerned with a voter/taxpayer's concerns. He does not know the issues and does not want to help his constituents. This is why I hope Ms. Crowder continues with her complaint and proves Mr. Murphy to be a non resident of Attleboro. Every parent and child thanks you Ms. Crowder. You are standing up for the children and doing what is best for Attleboro's schools. Mr. Murphy reminds me of formere committee member Mike Levinson, they both only cared about the Administration and did not do what was in the best interest for the children's education. Mr. Levinson was not elected because of this and Mr. Parent replaced him because he had children in the system and care about the children. Mr. Parent is not just a "yes" man to adminstration. Mr. Murphy will serve his fate in the end. He will either be asked to resign from the committee due to resident issues or will not be re-elected if he runs again. I am also aghast by people saying it is ok if Murphy doesn't live in Attleboro because he is a "good guy". This does not make it right to run for an office in a city in which you do not live. Mr. Murphy will not so proof of his residence, sounds like there is more to this and maybe that prooff doesn't exist......Think about it!!!!!
Sarah Curtis July 13, 2012 at 03:12 PM
@ Gretchen....crusade?? purpose?? That purpose and sole purpose is to be a mom and protect my children, sorry if my assertive, aggressive, determined and very much outspoken character frightens you but my time is my time and I'll spend as much as I need to correct issues for my child and anyone else's that wants my help!!
Gretchen Robinson July 13, 2012 at 03:40 PM
"fightens" me? There's a cabal of folks, apparently, out to get Mr. Murphy for the 'crime' of not having children. That is bizarre to me. To require someone to have children to be on the School Committee? to heap all your anger and frustration on Mr. Murphy, the SC, the Administration. Yes, there are times in life when we get angry and frustrated, but seriously, I think your attempts are not going to play well with most Attleboro residents.
Christine Viveiros July 13, 2012 at 03:48 PM
my curiosity got the better of me...to see what's going on in the district, I went to your site. Even registered for it with my real name. Still couldn't find anything to back up your claims. Care to direct me where to find the information you want us to look at?
SD July 13, 2012 at 03:51 PM
If the Election Commission determined (and determines again after refiling) that Mr. Murphy was duefully elected, then this issue should be let go. If people are dissatisfied with his performance, then that is what the election next year is for. If Ms. Enegren was voted in with her constituents knowing that she was not present in Attleboro 45% of the time, then those opposed have an opportunity to remove her during the next election as well. We really need to let the entire administration actually focus on what we need them to do, not dodge all these bullets. If all the phone calls/emails to Mr. Murphy are about his residency and as demeaning as the comments on these blogs, I wouldn't return phone calls either.
Christine Viveiros July 13, 2012 at 03:56 PM
my curiosity got the better of me...to see what's going on in the district, I went to your site. Even registered for it with my real name. Still couldn't find anything to back up your claims. Care to direct me where to find the information you want us to look at?
Gretchen Robinson July 13, 2012 at 04:01 PM
SD, totally agree. This tempest in a tea cup is getting boring and I have constructive things to do with my time so I'm getting off this thread. People like you, SD have common sense. Turns out common sense it not all that common....
Sarah Curtis July 13, 2012 at 05:00 PM
@ Gretchen once again I don't care if the man has kids where he lives (unless it violates election running rules) or what color socks the man wears what I do care about is the fact that the SC has a job to do and he's not doing his according to some constituents. I merely was joining in with Ms. Crowder in support as we have similar issues with the district. Furthermore the information you are seeking...Are you in Law Enforcement??? Work for a government agency able to assist me??? Because that sure would be helpful in delegating my "lack" of time carefully editing the multiple documents so my child has some protection with his privacy! And you say angry multiple times...I'm not angry...I'm SICK!!
Sarah Curtis July 13, 2012 at 05:37 PM
@ Kathy Taylor couldn't agree with you more!!
Laura Dolan July 13, 2012 at 06:12 PM
@ Gretchen, I read a lot of the threads here and always hear you say to be "constructive", not say mean things, yet you ALWAYS say something condescending, always. Calling people silly, narrow, too much time on their hands, tempest in a tea cup. You do exactly what you critize other people for doing. Not trying to start a battle here but, " He who is without sin......", ya know?
Christine Viveiros July 13, 2012 at 06:28 PM
@Sarah.....logged on to your site. Still couldn't find any info you claimed that laws were broken. Can you direct me to the correct link to that info?
Rob Geddes July 13, 2012 at 06:39 PM
I also think that School Committee members do not have to have children in the schools for a few reasons. First, such a criterion may preclude some very talented people from serving. For example, suppose the head of the School of Education at Harvard lives in Attleboro and decides to run for school committee but does not have kids for one reason or another. Can we really say that this person does not know enough about what is best for children? What about an educator (teacher/administrator) in another district? Second, the schools should be a concern for the whole community- not just the parents. Parents certainly have a more immediate investment in the schools, but every citizen is affected by the schools one way or another. On one hand, better educational opportunities and a higher rated school system means more people moving to Attleboro to pay taxes for more emergency personnel and services from the City. On the other hand, an elderly citizen robbed by a high school dropout probably would wish there were better opportunities to keep that kid in school and make better decisions. Finally, whether or not a person has a child in the system may be a matter of extreme privacy. Some families have to wait for the right time to have kids for financial reasons. Others may not be able to have kids for one reason or another. Should these folks not be allowed to serve on the School Committee because of something like this? And is it any of our business?
Sarah Curtis July 13, 2012 at 06:44 PM
@ Christine....As I stated in my previous comment certain things need to be edited for the protection of my child. If you want to see these documents then here's my email: schoolsneedchange@gmail.com or arkmjkr23@gmail.com, shoot me a msg and I will be happy to provide you with my cell phone number and I will also be glad to meet you in a public place of course to show you in person the documents as you are the most impatient and inconsiderate person I've come across so far in these blogs! Can't believe you don't understand the importance of protecting children! Ugh....
Sarah Curtis July 13, 2012 at 06:45 PM
@ Laura...Would just like to "Thank You" for seeing the TRUTH!!!
Chrys Swenson July 13, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Gretchen Robinson, It is not a law anywhere and you know that. It is my preference that I want to elect people to the school board that have children. I also think the best teachers in Attleboro have children. That is my opinion and my personal experience. You toss around the words "You people." What people? Patriots? Americans? Women? Women with children? Irish Native American's with 3 children? What people are you referring to? Stop your belittling and name calling. It's ridiculous. Last time I checked I'm allowed along with everyone else in America to express a differing opinion than yours and every other fan of David Murphy and Dr. Durkin. I shall continue to do what I feel is right for my children and my family. You are welcome to turn off your computer and not read what I write or you can continue to write responses to all the "You People" out here in internet land. Stop the distractions and petty criticisms, you say. I say, no I don't think so, because they aren't petty when you have 3 children involved in the school system. I'm doing my job as a parent standing up for my children and their rights to the best public education available to them. You do not get to tell me what is petty when it comes to my children. You don't get to tell Jennifer Crowder or any other parent of a child in the Attleboro Public School System they are being petty for disagreeing with the status quo. No way. It doesn't work that way.
Laura Dolan July 13, 2012 at 07:20 PM
@ Rob, I agree with you that an SC school member does not need to have a child in the system, providing they have the children and the city's best interest at heart. Once my son is no longer in the school system I will still very much care about the city and the schools. I do understand why people would people would feel better if they knew a SC member had a child in the system, (maybe they wouldn't question motivation on certain decisions).I also agree with your point that a better rated school system will draw people to our city. It all boils down to doing the right thing and being an adult about it. You do what's best for the kids and the city, sounds so simple right? maybe, maybe not
Rob Geddes July 13, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Thanks Laura. You are right that the best interest of the children and the city should be the priority- well said. Taking the point about your son a bit further, people that went through the schools should also be invested so that they can be proud of where they came from. I can also see why people feel better with parents of students on the committee. The perspectives are certainly valuable (student and parent). I just don't think it should be a reason for us to vote for or against someone and I don't think it should be prerequisite. Besides, what if not enough parents decide to run for all the seats? There is a reason why topics like this are not allowed to come up in job interivews. We should be voting for people that we think are going to serve the schools and guide decisions with the focus on the schools and the city. The difference of opinion obviously becomes "what is in the best interest of the schools and city." But at least that is more based on philosophies and objectives- not personal situations or decisions.
Christine Viveiros July 13, 2012 at 07:46 PM
@Sarah, up until now, you actually had a little bit of compassion from as you go thru the battles with the SC and Dr. Durkin, and I was giving you the benefit of the doubt with this so-called paperwork to back up your claims. The same paperwork you claimed to have said in another column that could be viewed on the site you created, the same site you have told many people to visit if they wanted to learn more about what's happening in our schools. (FYI, there's no information at all there except rants in YOUR blogs to yourself!) Always wanting to be "in the know" and having 2 kids in the system, I (regretfuly) logged in to your site to find evidence of illegal activity to form my own opinion. I have come to the conclusion that I have no desire to see that so-called "evidence" you have. I have not once degraded you or questioned you and you call me inconsiderate. Now I know what you mean when you wrote the police did their "homework" on you. You are also the perfect definition of someone's "worst nightmare". Good luck to you. More importantly, good luck to your son.
Laura Dolan July 13, 2012 at 08:01 PM
@ Rob, I understand what you're saying about the job interview but, it's kind of not the same in the sense that if you're asked in a job interview if you have children, then you can assume they they may assume you cannot do your job if your too busy at home with the 10 children. I agree it shouldn't nec sway our vote, but it is what it is. Fran Ziot has been on the school committee forever and all her kids went to private schools, it didn't sway the peoples vote ( if they knew). People are going to defend or complain no matter who is there. I guess as a parent I have to hope I voted for the right people and they do the right thing. Keeping in mind that I will always go to meetings, read articles and keep up with what's going on with my childs education and speak up for what I feel is right. I always tell my son, " stand up for what's right, even if you stand alone"
Kevin Curtis July 13, 2012 at 09:03 PM
@christine There has been no compassion in any of your comments you posted thus far. Also you do not need to be speaking for other people they are capable of that themselves. Sarah has been stating to come to the site to learn more, yes, and as you pointed out the documents are not there yet this we obviously know. This takes some time and no she does not have have all the time in the world like you state. She is trying to get people to the site to build an audience and to get conversation flowing. The documents will be uploaded in due time. If you regret going to the site then that is too bad as it's there to help but you gave your opinion and view on that so its not needed anymore as it is not helping anyone or providing any service. Unfortunately for many it's people that don't have the desire to want to learn more or see these documents that are only feeding to the problems that are present. Do you know what the police meant? No because you have no idea what you are talking about as you have no information. It's hard to make such insinuations when you have no facts or hard information. And saying that she's the definition of "worst nightmare" well that is degrading. If you have nothing to provide that will not help the kids or the community then it's most likely better left not said.
Christine Viveiros July 13, 2012 at 11:19 PM
@Kevin, just because I didn't express compassion in my comments, doesn't mean I didn't feel them within. I sympathize with anybody who is in the situation Sarah is in and am fortunate to have never had such an experience. I never stated anything regarding her having "all the time in the world". Please read MY comments carefully, then go back and read all of Sarah's and see who degraded who. I am a long time follower of the Patch but new to contributing comments as I have written a total of 6 between 3 different subjects. I have never once spoken for other people as you must have me confused with someone else. As far as Sarah's website, I took her advice she gave me (in another blog) and went to the site for more information as she stated in that other blog that it was all there for all to see. I was only inquiring because I wasn't sure if what I was doing within the site was correct as anything I clicked on, didn't allow me access anywhere else. If the site is not up and running correctly, why send people there? All I was doing was trying to understand more about the district and how the laws are being broken as she stated as I have an interest in the school system as well with 2 kids in it. I was asking her questions I thought I could get answers to without being called "the most impatient and inconsiderate person". Obviously she misinterpreted the tone of my question and jumped to conclusions thinking I was attacking her when I wasn't. Good luck with your website.
Kevin Curtis July 13, 2012 at 11:39 PM
@christine It's not that you didn't express compassion it's that in a lot of your comments there was no compassion. As for the all the time in the world yes that comment was made by someone else my mistake on that. I don't need to read Sarah's comments because if you didn't notice by the last name I'm her husband and the father of our child who is having trouble with this school district. I have been up to date and only decided to comment now as I didn't like comments that were being made, and I can tell by other people I'm not the only one. It's in no way constructive or needed. If there's an issue with the site use the contact us page and explain the issue instead of posting it here saying there's nothing there. Like Sarah stated multiple times the material is still being posted. We want people to start registering that's our decision to ask of that. The site is up and running as you are the first to tell us of any issues.
Adam Edward July 14, 2012 at 12:57 AM
If you think the school commitee or someone on it isn't doing the job correctly then run against them. You all seem to know whats best and have all the answers. I will have a nice laugh when I go to vote and all these members people complain about run uncontested. I have two young children and I know that it really doesn't matter what the school is like, if you raise them right and give them good values they will do fine.
SD July 14, 2012 at 02:50 AM
So true Adam!
Darren Major July 14, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Editor Friedman, I am unfamiliar with the entire story.....between Furtardo Enegren and Supt Durkin - can you work to have the SC people clearly roll out their reasons for dislike with more facts and less emotion. Then have Supt. Durkin express her issues. I have been following most of the story but the disconnect comes from Attleboro schools doing better - Sometimes those who want to push things to the better have to move a lot of dead weight - It's obvious parents are angry but this story needs coverage free of emotion. The posters comments here terribly cloud the issue to my chagrin. I can proudly say I am completely neutral and have no kids in the system so I just want to have a better understanding of the breakdown here - every thing is muddy muddy, and muddy :)
Pietro Fiamma July 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM
here! here!


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