Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
July 7, 2008
Dear Attorney General Coakley,
On May 20 I requested you undertake a ‘quo warranto procedure’ to remove from office Amherst Town Meeting member Robie Hubley. On April 10 Mr. Hubley signed a ‘Homestead’ declaration for a residency in South Hadley and also signed (with his wife) an FDIC mortgage from Florence Savings Bank that also requires “primary residency” at the South Hadley home.
The Amherst Town Attorney wrote to you and politely suggested you stay out of the matter until the local option occurred, G.L.c. 51, 48—a hearing before the Amherst Board of Registrars.
On Thursday, July 3’rd the Board did meet (as I am currently in China adopting a second daughter, I did not attend) and according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette both Robie Hubley and his wife Anne Awad (who recently resigned her Select Board seat) attended but did not speak, because—amazingly--the Board of Registrars did not ask them any questions!
The issue of the “Homestead” declaration was not discussed and the bank mortgage “primary residency” requirement was dismissed as a “private” matter.
One of the three Registrars, Harry Brooks, is a personal friend of Anne Awad and failed to recuse himself from the proceeding.
The Town Clerk (who moderated the meeting) serves at the whim of the Amherst Town Manager. Anne Awad and Robie Hubley were both Amherst Select Board members two years ago and made the decision to hire him. Town Manager Shaffer has steadfastly defended the couples right to declare Amherst their home no matter the evidence to the contrary.
Since this initial July 3 hearing was simply exploratory to ascertain whether “sufficient grounds for an investigation” exists, it is beyond comprehension the Board of Registrars unanimously decided that no such grounds exist —right up there with the earth is flat, Apollo 11 never landed on the moon and Elvis is alive.
Obviously the proceeding was far from impartial and if allowed to go unchallenged will undermine the confidence of Amherst voters in our system of democracy.
Could you now, please, bring your office into this matter?
Amherst Town Meeting
Amherst Redevelopment Authority
5’Th generation Amherst resident