Richard Morrill, the Independent Candidate for Middletown Township Committee, is claiming his Republican opponent Stephanie Murray and her campaign, is ethically challenged.
Morrill and Murray are both Middletown Township Housing Authority Commissioners. While attending to his duties as a commissioner for the Housing Authority, Mr. Morrill came across Fiore & Murray campaign material being delivered to residents of both Daniel and Tomaso Towers. Both senior living towers fall under the jurisdiction U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and therefore are overseen by the Middletown Housing Authority.
According to Morrill, HUD has very strict guidelines concerning housing authority commissioners who are involved in campaigning for elected office. It is a violation of HUD’s code of ethics for any sitting housing authority commissioner to engage in any type of electioneering in HUD buildings that fall within a commissioner’s jurisdiction.
Here was how Morrill explained it in an email to me:
“Part of the job of a Housing Commissioner in Middletown is to sign checks. I am often called to sign checks during the daytime hours. Yesterday was one of those days. While signing checks at the Alice V Tomaso Plaza yesterday, I noticed political literature being delivered concerning Fiore and Murray. Ms Murray is a sitting commissioner on the Housing Board as she points out in the campaign literature, who managed to bring fiscal stability to the Authority by herself. It is unethical to campaign according to HUD at the Authority that you are a sitting commissioner.”
According to Richard Morrill this lapse of ethics could have easily been avoided by simply not sending these campaign pieces to residents of Daniel or Tomaso Towers in the first place. However he stated, “...but once again ms Murray thinks that it (the rule) does not apply to her.“