Some residents say they remain concerned over how the allegations against Murphy were handled. An entity called “Canton Citizens for Honest Government” recently sent residents an anonymous letter outlining the allegations against Murphy. The letter accused Murphy of personally benefiting from his role as conservation agent, and, in that role, advising Conservation Commission members on plans provided by M&M Engineering. The letter also criticized two of the selectmen for voting to keep Murphy as conservation agent.
Murphy declined to comment on the allegations in the letter. “As much as I would like to, I cannot comment at this time. Thank you for sharing the letter,” he wrote.
Canton resident Tori McClain, who lives next to property that is being redeveloped, said she thinks it’s absurd that selectmen did not unanimously vote to terminate Murphy’s services, because, in her view, Murphy was “clearly engaged in unethical behavior.”
McClain, who moved to Canton three years ago, said the condo project proposed for the property next to her home has prompted her to attend town meetings and opened her eyes to “a wide swath of corruption in our town.”
McClain says she plans to run for the Planning Board because she “wants to be part of a solution, and not just complain about it.” She said that Murphy is “one small cog in much larger problem,” and that she has been in touch with investigators from the State Ethics Commission and inspector general’s office.
Not everyone is happy to see Murphy go.
Conservation Commission member James A. Fitzpatrick, a retired fire chief who has sat on the panel for eight years and also serves on the Council on Aging, noted that Murphy had been employed by the town for decades. He said town officials should not have let Murphy go.
“People make mistakes,” said Fitzpatrick, who voted against calling for Murphy’s resignation. Murphy “will be hard to replace. There’s a large amount of area to Canton, it’s almost 20 square miles.’’ Getting to learn the lay of the land’’ will take time, he said.
The town is in the process of seeking a new conservation agent. The job posting states that the conservation agent “works with minimal supervision and must exhibit a high level of professional integrity. Salary is competitive and commensurate with skills and experience. This position is considered full time working between 20-32 hours per week,” with “a full benefits package.”
Burr said he hopes a hire would be made by spring. “There’s been a number of applicants,” he said. “We’d like to fill it as soon as reasonably possible.”