Binghamton City Council Dems accuse mayor of playing politics

By Perry Russom

May 6, 2014 Updated May 6, 2014 at 11:41 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Binghamton City Council Democrats are accusing Mayor Rich David of playing party politics.

They say one of his most recent appointees lacks the experience to do the job.

Binghamton City Council Democrats released a statement calling into question the appointment of Robert Murphy as the new Director of Economic Development.

They said nothing on Murphy's resume qualifies him for the position.

The statement was headed by City Council Democratic Majority Leader Jerry Motsavage.

In 2008, Murphy represented the Binghamton Plaza on the city's north side when the city was looking to secure a new grocery store for the area, the statement said.

The four Democrats on council said Murphy blocked the deal.

When David was running for office this fall, the Democrats said Murphy then struck a "politically convenient agreement" to favor David's campaign.

"We're calling on Mr. Murphy to disclose his business clients now so that we can make sure as development occurs throughout the city, that there's no conflict of interest," said City Councilwoman Teri Rennia.

The way Binghamton's government is assembled, City Council has no say over who the mayor appoints, but they want their opinions to be heard.

David issued a statement Tuesday, saying: "Robert Murphy dissolved his law practice prior to taking a job with the city and will no longer be representing his clients, so there is no conflict of interest."

As for the grocery store plan, David said the deal didn't work out several years ago because the city was difficult to work with and no city officials in the plans had any business experience.

David said they simply couldn't close the deal.

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