Lt. Governor Tim Murray has been a constant visitor here over the years that he has served.
In many respects, he has become a great friend to this city and to its leading politicians, who see in him a chance to be close with the man who will succeed Governor Deval Patrick when he leaves at the end of his term.
This is still three years away – light years away in political measure.
Recent revelations in the Boston Globe have shown that the Lt. Governor and former Chelsea Housing Authority Director Mike McLaughlin are good friends – or at least – used to be good friends.
Telephone calls between the two numbered 80 in a two month period leading up to McLaughlin’s resignation from the CHA following the revelation, and this was truly a revelation, that he was being paid $360,000 a year and was owed $200,000 in sick and vacation time when his real salary should have been closer to $160,000.
The governor pushed McLaughlin to resign – but before he got out of Chelsea, McLaughlin called for a meeting of the CHA Board and got them to approve a motion asking the CHA accountant, a close McLaughlin family friend, to write out checks totaling $200,000 to McLaughlin for vacation time and sick time.
Then he got out of Dodge, as the saying goes.
The accountant and McLaughlin headed up to Dracut, where McLaughlin lives.
Somewhere along the way, McLaughlin cashed one of the checks – $80,000 and then boogied it home.
As of this week, McLaughlin is a pariah. He has been denounced. Payments to him have been stopped by the state and he is being investigated by the FBI and the state Attorney General’s office.
His pension has been put on hold as well and everything about him is up for grabs, including his friendship with the Lt. Governor.
Now comes the story circulating that when Murray drove off the road. two weeks back nearing Dracut at a little after 5:00 a.m. that the Lt. Governor may have been heading to a rendezvous with McLaughlin.
He said he was touring storm damage from the late October snow storm but some of us believe this may be a bit farfetched.
A few days ago, the Lt. Governor was literally accosted by the Boston media about his friendship with McLaughlin and the fact McLaughlin was his biggest single political contributor.
The going got very nasty and the governor stepped in to defend his colleague.
We can only imagine how the governor feels defending the Lt. Governor whose best friend and political ally is the same man the governor removed for raping the people of the state with his outrageous salary of $360,000 a year.
Bottom line, Timmy Murray is having a tough time riding out this storm.
And the governor handing off his position to Murray has never looked like more like a pipe dream than it does today.