Sunday, June 26, 2016
The Amazing Disappearing and Reappearing and Disappearing of Foster County State's Attorney Paul Murphy
Remember State's Attorney Paul Murphy? He's back! Oh wait. He's not back!
This story started back last winter. State's Attorney Paul Murphy was confronted by Commission Chairman Josh Dreher regarding the county having to pay a $15,000 settlement out of county funds. This was in regard to a bid-rigging law suit pertaining to the county shop where Murphy encouraged the commission to break the law.
After that meeting, Paul Murphy resigned. Directly after he resigned, Murphy issued a press release about how he was forced to resign by Commissioners Dreher and Gussiaas.
Murphy gave interviews that were published in Jamestown Sun, Fargo Forum and NewsDakota. He appeared on numerous newscasts on area TV stations. His reasons for resigning immediately without notice was that the commission meetings had turned into a zoo and were almost to the point of violence.
After that, Commission Chairman Dreher was interviewed by the TV stations about Murphy's accusations that the meetings were out of control and ran like a zoo. Dreher said that the main complaint by him and Gussiaas was that Murphy showed up late to the commission meeting, couldn't give a direct answer to any legal questions and seldom, if ever, got back with a legal opinion. As well, when Murphy came to the meeting, he spent his time playing on his phone and not paying attention to the meeting. When Murphy was asked if it were true that he played on his phone, he replied that the meetings were so boring that it was like watching paint dry.
The fact that Paul Murphy resigned without notice or making the slightest effort to find a replacement is an act that few taxpayers should forgive. To make matters worse, Murphy went about soiling the position by calling every single news source to tell the world that the position of State's Attorney of Foster County is worthless. Imagine an employee (and he was the taxpayers' employee) who gets insulted and quits without notice or a possibly finding a replacement, and then goes about the process of bad-mouthing his former employer to every potential replacement employee just to make it harder on his employer.
Paul Murphy bad-mouthed the citizens and taxpayers (his boss) to every possible news media that would listen to him. Murphy purposely soiled almost every potential state's attorney Foster County could use to replace him.
After several months of being unemployed, Murphy looked to get his old government job back as the State's Attorney of Foster County. He placed his name in nomination for Foster County, and being the only person on the ballot, he now has the nomination.
The commissioners' task of finding a replacement was made even more difficult by Murphy's letters to the editor causing Ashley Lies to resign.
Since then, the commission has offered the position of state's attorney to any qualified attorney. Guess what -- the only applicant was Paul Murphy.
On the June 21, 2016, commissioner's meeting, after failing (thanks to Paul Murphy) to find any replacement for state's attorney other than Murphy, commissioners Gussiaas and Copenhaver voted to offer the position of state's attorney to Murphy. Dreher voted no.
After this vote, the commission unanimously voted to continue the previously approved budget (minus months he was not serving) for the state's attorney's office.
Shortly thereafter, Auditor Casey Cables contacted Paul Murphy about coming to her office to take his oath of office again. It has been reported that Murphy told Cables that he will not take the position unless he gets more money. Apparently, by that act he turned the County's offer down.
Murphy continually talks about how he wants to serve the county, but given the opportunity to have the previously agreed upon budget, he throws the County to the curb.
Is this the kind of public servant that you want?