BOSTON (AP) — Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray announced yesterday that he would step down from his elected post to accept a job as head of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, saying his departure from state government did not stem from controversies that had swirled around him in recent years.
His resignation from the position he has held for more than six years will be effective on June 2.
Murray, who decided earlier in the year not to run for governor next year, succeeding Gov. Deval Patrick, said in an interview with The Associated Press that he had not been job hunting.
“I wasn’t seeking the position. This is something that came to me,” Murray said.
The lieutenant governor also said his resignation had nothing to do with an ongoing investigation into his ties with a former housing official who has pleaded guilty to federal charges or with an early-morning car crash in November 2011 in which investigators said he driving more than 100 miles per hour.
The chamber’s board of directors unanimously approved Murray’s appointment as president and chief executive of the business group, succeeding Richard Kennedy, who retired after nine years.
Murray said the organization first contacted him about the position about a month ago, but that he initially was not interested because he intended to complete his second term, which ends in January 2015.
He said he later decided, however, that the opportunity would be a good one professionally and for his family, and realized the job would not still be available after he leaves office.
Murray, 44, is the father of two girls, ages 7 and 8. He said he would earn more than $200,000 in the new job, though he declined to give the exact salary. He earns nearly $125,000 as lieutenant governor.
There is no provision in Massachusetts law for filling a vacancy in the lieutenant governor’s office, so the position will remain vacant until after the next state election.