The LuLac Edition #2135, July 23rd, 2012
MURPHY’S PROBLEMSCurrent State Representative Kevin Murphy always was used to making headlines in his political career. But the one on Sunday Morning in the Times Tribune State Rep. Murphy out on bail is one I don’t think he wanted to see. There have been reports that Murphy has been reeling since his defeat in the Democratic primary for re-election against Marty Flynn. Flynn ran a grassroots campaign and was making progress in the 113th district. But no one gave him a chance against Murphy until there was a flap over whether Murphy did get a degree from the University of Scranton. That disclosure days before the primary put Flynn in the driver’s seat. He defeated Murphy, a two term rep. Rumors abounded that Murphy would try to stage a write in effort in the fall. But all of that came crashing down on Friday night when Murphy was involved in a domestic dispute with his wife and one of her friends. The first reports were generic and oblique in nature but the story in Sunday’s Times goes into details that isn’t good for anyone involved. Here’s that Times Tribune report written by Joe Kohut and Katie Sullivan:
State Rep. Kevin Murphy was released from Lackawanna County Prison Saturday after posting $15,000 bail. The representative for the 113th District, turned himself in to authorities earlier in the day. Scranton police had been on the lookout for him after he fled following a domestic dispute that became violent. During an argument with his wife, Denise, Friday night Mr. Murphy allegedly slapped, threw and punched her and put a choke hold on her friend, Patrick Hessmiller, according to the criminal complaint. Mr. Murphy was charged with two counts of simple assault and two counts of harassment after the incident at 547 Leggett St. in North Scranton. Investigating Officer Christopher Kaushas wrote in the complaint that Mrs. Murphy said Mr. Hessmiller drove her to her parent's house at 547 Leggett St. in North Scranton, only to find Mr. Murphy standing in the road, apparently heavily intoxicated. Upon opening the door, Mr. Murphy began shouting at Mrs. Murphy and open-hand slapped her across the face. She said he then grabbed her neck and threw her head on the floor of the vehicle, according to the complaint. Mr. Hessmiller told police he tried to calm Mr. Murphy down, telling him to stop, but was then punched in the face. In the struggle that followed, Mr. Hessmiller said Mr. Murphy put him into a choke hold until neighbors came out to help and Mr. Murphy fled, the complaint said. Mr. Murphy ran to his red Kia sedan, disappearing until Saturday morning. The complaint says Mrs. Murphy complained of minor soreness but refused medical treatment, as did Mr. Hessmiller who did not complain of any pain, though he reported feeling faint due to oxygen restriction while being choked by Mr. Murphy. Mr. Murphy was arraigned Saturday at the Lackawanna County Court House, acting Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano said. The Lackawanna County assessor's office lists Kevin and Denise Murphy as the owners of 547 Leggett St. The criminal complaint lists Mr. Murphy with the Leggett Street address as well as an address at 1734 Brick Ave. Mr. Murphy, who was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2008, lost to Marty Flynn in the primary election in the spring.
I worked with Kevin in the year 2000 at Cable Rep Advertising. He was personable, honest to a fault and I personally never saw him agitated in any way. However if there were personal problems going on in the marriage as well as his loss of what I’m sure he saw as a dream job, (he was always involved in politics since he was a teenager) I’m sure that took its toll. We wish him the best. And his family.
As one local Lackawanna politico opined to me early Sunday morning after seeing this story, “This is sad all around for everyone. The only guy happy about this is Frank Andrews Shimkus” Shimkus, a former TV anchorman for WNEP and WYOU was defeated by Murphy in a bitter race in the 2008 primary and then in the 2008 General when Shimkus tried to win on the GOP side. The seat was formerly held by Fred Belardi who lost the 2006 election to Shimkus after voting for the infamous Harrisburg pay raise of 2005.
CORRECTION: The 113th was held by Gaynor Cawley. Andrews Shimkus won in 2006 after Cawley retired. He was defeated by Kevin Murphy in 2008.