Saturday, July 26, 2008

Rep. Kevin Murphy (D-Lowell) Targeted by GOP

Murphy targeted in GOP complaint
By Jennifer Myers,
Article Last Updated: 07/26/2008 06:36:10 AM EDT

BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Republican Party has filed a complaint with the state Ethics Commission against Lowell Democratic Rep. Kevin Murphy regarding his legal representation of the city's four assistant school superintendents, one of which is his wife, in contract negotiations last month.

The negotiations, approved in a 4-3 School Committee vote, resulted in an average pay increase of 6.3 percent for the four administrators, in addition to a number of extra benefits and perks.

Kevin Murphy's wife, Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services Ann Murphy, had her contract renegotiated two years early and received a $10,000 raise, the largest of the four.

In a letter to the Ethics Commission, MassGOP Executive Director Rob Willington asks the agency to investigate whether Kevin Murphy violated the law by:

* Not disclosing his direct financial interest with his wife's employment to the Ethics Commission.

* Representing a private group of individuals and his wife before a board that relies on him to bring millions of dollars in local education aid back to the city annually.

* Negotiating a larger raise for his wife than the other individuals, a situation the GOP opines could be a violation of a law that prohibits him from using "his official position to secure for himself or others unwarranted privileges or exemptions which are of substantial value and which are not properly available to similarly situated individuals."

"It'simportant that the people of Massachusetts have faith in their elected officials to do the right thing for their constituents," Willington said in a statement. "The ethics law exists for a reason, and the Massachusetts Republican Party will continue to fight to make sure everyone works under a fair and open process and that no special advantage is given to the friends and family of Beacon Hill insiders."

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