A man who has tried his hand at provincial politics numerous times over the years is now involved in a municipal battle.
Charles Murphy and his wife Dianne, of Irishtown-Summerside, are being taken to court by the north shore of the Bay of Islands municipality for the collection of just shy of $12,000. The couple have not been paying their property tax for many years.
A statement of claim in the amount of $4,985 was called in small claims court in Corner Brook Monday. The amount is $3,317.20 for property tax and $1,300 for water and sewer in arrears for the years 2009-2012. There also are amounts of $162.81 and $65 for respective pre-judgment interest.
However, the owed taxes also include a 2008 default order in the amount of $6,208.40, plus judgment interest and costs.
Murphy sought the Liberal leadership position in 2013 and 2011. He lost the original race to Kevin Aylward, but had his nomination rejected in 2013 after failing to properly pay $10,000 of the $20,000 fee by nomination deadline.
Murphy also ran in the provincial elections of 2011 as a Liberal in the district of Humber East— losing to Conservative MHA, former minister and current Premier Tom Marshall — and as an NDP in 2007 in the district of the Bay of Islands — losing to Conservative MHA Terry Loder.
The Murphys were brought into court Monday in relation to an annual summons to review their assets for a judgment debtor examination.
In May, the Murphys agreed upon paying the town $250 per month — which, at a flat balance, would take approximately four years to pay. Murphy had offered to pay the debt at 50 cents per month originally and was scorned by the court to take the matter more seriously.
The town’s lawyer, Adam Baker, informed Judge Wayne Gorman Monday the town rejected the offer to repay the taxes in arrears at $250 per month. He said it would take too long to recover the money owed.
Murphy shook his head and laughed numerous times at the questions pertaining to his finances. He began objecting or getting off topic a couple of times, to which Gorman asked him to answer the questions. At one point, Murphy began discussing the details of an apparent dispute with the town. Before the judge interrupted, he had been saying he would have paid the taxes if it weren’t for this issue with the town.
Murphy could not be reached for comment Monday. Irishtown-Summerside Mayor Tony Blanchard refused to discuss the matter. It is not known whether the town has pursued any actions such as cutting off services to the Murphys.
It now falls upon the Town of Irishtown-Summerside on how to pursue the collection.