EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

May 23, 2013

Lt. Gov. to quit, join business group

(Continued)

Secretary of State William Galvin would become the next in line to the governor’s office following Murray’s departure, and will serve as the state’s acting governor when Patrick is traveling.

Murray, a former Worcester mayor, has enjoyed strong support from Patrick and has been credited with leading many of the administration’s economic development initiatives, as well as strengthening ties with municipal officials around the state. But recent missteps have clouded his tenure.

In January, the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance made public a letter it sent in September to Attorney General Martha Coakley saying there was evidence Murray and his political committee broke the law by accepting donations raised by former Chelsea Housing Authority Director Michael McLaughlin.

McLaughlin pleaded guilty in February to federal charges that he knowingly concealed his salary in annual housing authority budgets from 2008 to 2011 and submitting the false figures to state and federal regulators. He admitted to falsely reporting his annual salary as $160,415 in 2011, when his total compensation was at least $324,896.

Murray has acknowledged that McLaughlin was a political supporter but said he never asked McLaughlin to raise campaign money for him and was unaware of the bloated salary.

“Michael McLaughlin misled a whole lot of people and organization, including me,” Murray said Wednesday, adding that it played no role in his resignation.

Murray also faced questions about the pre-dawn crash on Interstate 190 that totaled the state car he was driving. Data later released from the vehicle’s “black box” show the car was traveling more than 100 miles per hour in the moments before it left the highway, hit a rock ledge and rolled over.

Murray, who was not seriously injured, was issued a $555 ticket.

His version of the events of that morning shifted during the course of the investigation. He initially told reporters he was driving around the speed limit and believed the cause of the accident was black ice, but he later said he probably fell asleep at the wheel just before the accident.

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