(Source: Jon Lender The Hartford Courant (MCT) — Democratic U.S. Rep. and Senate nominee Chris Murphy was sued for alleged nonpayment of rent in December 2003 when he was a member of the Connecticut legislature, the second episode to emerge in as many days to suggest that Murphy failed to stay current on his personal housing expenses in past years.
On Dec. 12, 2003, Southington Meadows LLC filed a complaint against Murphy in New Britain Superior Court’s housing session, citing “nonpayment of rent” for an apartment at 12C Darling St., Southington, according to a case summary in the court’s electronic filing system. The case was withdrawn Jan. 6, 2004, the summary says.
No financial details or specific allegations are in the electronic record, and the paper documents for the short-lived pre-eviction action have been destroyed. The court provided a printout of the summary at The Courant’s request Thursday.
The case surfaced a day after Courant columnist Kevin F. Rennie disclosed that in early 2007, Murphy was sued by Chase Home Finance for foreclosure of the mortgage on the house he purchased in Cheshire in 2005. That was two months after he became Connecticut’s congressman representing the 5th District, and that case was also settled quickly.
Murphy would not agree to be interviewed about either case. Instead, Murphy has had campaign spokesman Ben Marter issue statements.
Marter said in an email Thursday night: “In 2003 Chris inadvertently missed rent payments. He paid off the outstanding balance when he found out about the missed payments and continued living in the same apartment for over a year until he moved into his new home.”
On Wednesday, Marter responded to Rennie’s disclosure about the foreclosure action. He said: “When Chris and Cathy [Holahan, whom Murphy married in the summer of 2007] were starting out, they were in the process of merging their finances and inadvertently missed a couple of mortgage payments. When they found out about it, they immediately got in contact with their bank and then paid it in full from their own funds.”
Marter did not say how many rent or mortgage payments Murphy had missed, or in what amounts. He also gave no details about settlement arrangements in either case.
Murphy, now 39, a lawyer, was living in Southington when he was elected in 1998 to the state House of Representatives. He served two terms there, then was elected in 2002 to the state Senate, and then successfully challenged incumbent Nancy Johnson in 2006 for the 5th District seat in Congress. Now he faces Republican Linda McMahon in the Nov. 6 election for the U.S. Senate seat held by Joseph Lieberman, who did not seek re-election.
Murphy’s $225,000 purchase of the Cheshire home in 2005 was financed with two mortgages from Webster Bank — the first for $180,000, the second for $22,500. The first mortgage was owned by Chase by the time the foreclosure action was initiated, then resolved, in 2007. But Webster Bank still held the second mortgage in 2008, when the amount was increased from $22,500 to $43,000 under a home equity credit line, at an interest rate of 4.99 percent interest.
Murphy was a member of the House Financial Services Committee, which regulates banks. He received congressional campaign contributions from Webster Bank’s political action committee. Murphy also had done work for Webster Bank as a lawyer.
©2012 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)
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