Mass. Lt. Gov. Tim Murray resigns to head up Worcester Chamber of Commerce

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray resigns.
Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray resigns.

Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray today announced he will resign from his job at the Statehouse to head the Worcester Chamber of Commerce.

If approved by the board of directors, Murray would earn more than $200,000 a year as the chamber’s president and CEO.

Murray’s term was set to end in January 2015, however he said today his last day will be June 2, and he will begin his new job at the Worcester Chamber of Commerce the next day.

He announced in January that he would not run for governor next year, despite a large war chest.

State Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office has been investigating Murray’s ties to the former director of the Chelsea Housing Authority, including possible campaign finance allegations. Michael McLaughlin pleaded guilty to federal felony charges of concealing his salary earlier this year.

Murray told reporters at a 1:45 p.m. press conference that his resignation had “nothing to do with” the investigation.

“It’s about growing jobs, building partnerships. This is something I know I will enjoy. It is consistent with what I’ve been doing personally, so it make sense as well.”

The Worcester-native said he hopes to spend more time with his wife and two young daughters, who are 7 and 8.  Murray said he dismissed the job offer when he was first approached in March, but reconsidered after the chamber laid out its goals.

“I know that change is the nature of life, and as I imagine, I’ll keep working on issues that I’m passionate about while being close to home,” he said. “The chamber post is a perfect fit.”

Governor Deval Patrick joined Murray at the press conference, describing his lieutenant as “a friend, a mentor and a partner.”

“His departure leaves a big hole in our team,” Patrick said after rattling off a list of Murray’s projects as lieutenant governor.

When asked why he chose to resign, Murray said he “struggled” with the decision to leave early, and that it ultimately came down to timing since the chamber job wouldn’t wait until his term was over.

In November 2011, Murray escaped unhurt from a serious car crash on Interstate 190. Murray claimed that his state-owned car hit a patch of ice, but the vehicle’s data recorder later showed he had been driving in excess of 100 mph.

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