By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Sean Murphy responds to Totten

Boston Globe reporter Sean Murphy, who was the prosecutor in the Boston Newspaper Guild’s ouster of president — now former president — Dan Totten, spoke with me a little while ago. Murphy is highly critical of remarks Totten made in an e-mail reported yesterday by the Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam. Says Murphy:

All I want to say is that this was a prosecution, not a persecution. Mr. Totten was not the victim of a political vendetta. He was a victim of his own bad conduct. I was asked to be the prosecutor and agreed to do so. It was done by the book. There was no personal animosity. Any suggestion otherwise is false. Any suggestion that I was biased is false. I was well known to be a “no” vote on both contract proposals, which was in line with the position of Mr. Totten. I did not participate in any recall efforts. I was known to eschew recall.

Murphy adds that, though he did attend a meeting to discuss Totten’s possible removal, Totten “knows full well I expressed great skepticism.”

I asked Murphy whether there has been any talk about whether the accusations made against Totten by the union could result in the involvement of law enforcement. Murphy’s response: “I have not broached that subject nor has anybody in my presence.”

Earlier coverage.

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  1. Joey

    I am now struggling mightily to answer the question, ‘Who cares?’ about this whole situation, and am very close to answering ‘Nobody.’

  2. Newshound

    This is such a tease to many of us. If Mr. Totten did in fact breach his own integrity with an inappropriate personal charge of $254, maybe he’d get some sympathy here on this blog for such a big issue being made out of something rather small in comparison to his overall responsibility this year.

    Of course, integrity is important, and even on the smallest of issues, there isn’t room for a violation, especially with the Globe’s union. So, good for them for their acclaimed dedication to preserving honesty to the fullest.

    Wouldn’t it be helpful though, if Mr. Totten would just post here on this block exactly what he did charge for $254 so we can decide for ourselves.

    Based on this latest report, this was not personal but a matter of enforcing honesty and integrity. That’s the way I read it. They have a right for setting the bar for zero tolerance, or $254 of tolerance.

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