Lieut. Gov. Tim Murray has forfeited the benefit of the doubt.
Murray, in a recent letter to political supporters, complained that he has been subjected to “false rumors and wild speculation” in connection with the crash of a state-owned car last Nov. 2 on Interstate 190 in Sterling.
Perhaps he would have had a legitimate complaint if he had been completely transparent from the start. But his account of the crash is contradicted in almost every detail by what was more recently revealed from the vehicle’s black box. If anybody is causing problems by saying things that are false, it is Murray.
The lieutenant governor claimed he had been obeying the 65 mph speed limit. He wasn’t. The black box data showed that he been traveling in excess of 75 mph, and shortly before the crash his speed increase to 108 mph.
He claimed that he had slid on black ice. Not according to the black box, which showed he had never applied the brakes. He claimed he had been wearing his seatbelt. False again.
To call all of these contradictions “mistakes” is laughable. They call into question the rest of his account. Murray said he had gone for a drive to check out storm damage – at around 5 a.m. in the pitch dark. Now he says that he went out for a drive because he couldn’t sleep. And, he now says the reason for the accident is that he fell asleep the wheel.
So for Murray to complain about the press demanding his cell phone records is both unseemly and suspicious. He contends that he was not talking or texting on his phone any time during the drive. But, he does not want to release the phone records.
If Murray wants to end rumors and speculation, he will stop stonewalling. That is only feeding them. If his phone records back up what he has been saying, he has nothing to worry about. But he can’t complain that people don’t trust him. In this case he doesn’t deserve it.