Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray announced this morning that he will be resigning from his post. Governor Deval Patrick’s administration reported that Murray is leaving to accept a position with the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce where he will be making over $200,000 a year. That’s a hefty raise from his current salary of $124,000.
Sharyn Williams, the spokesperson for the chamber, said the board of directors will be meeting at noon, where they will vote on the retirement of current CEO Richard Kennedy and his replacement. While the board has not made a formal announcement and Williams said she could not confirm is Murray is the replacement, a source reported that the chamber approached Murray with the offer several weeks ago.
Williams stated that Kennedy planned to stay through the end of the year, but that “if someone were selected earlier that could change. It’s very fluid.”
While it would seem odd to for a public official to leave his office more than a year before his term ends, it is not unprecedented. When Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci left to become the ambassador to Canada in 2001, Lt. Gov. Jane Swift stepped up and served without a replacement lieutenant governor.
It is possible that Massachusetts might be better off without Lt. Gov. Murray, who has been recovering from a string of scandals over his time in office.
In January, Murray was placed under investigation for campaign-finance violations. Michael McLaughlin, the Chelsea Housing Authority director, is also under investigation by a grand jury for his role in illegal fundraising for Murray in his last election.
There is also evidence reported by the Office of Campaign and Political Finance that between 2008 and 2011 Murray and another housing official violated political fundraising laws that ban political fundraising that is done by public employees or in public buildings.
“If we made mistakes, I'm responsible. I will take responsibility for whatever mistakes that may have been made,” Murray said in January.
In February, Murray was still fundraising after having announced that he would not run for governor. He stated that the money he raised could be used for his legal defense fund.
Also shadowing Murray is a 2011 car crash which totaled a government vehicle. After the crash, Murray reported that he lost control of the vehicle. However, the car’s data recorder showed that he was driving at 108 miles per hour, travelling in a straight line, and that he never hit the brakes.
After all this, the question left is whether Murray resigned over his string of scandals or for the extra $76,000 now in his pocket.