LEWISTON — A hearing Thursday will decide whether Ward 1 City Council candidate Dane Morgan’s name will appear on the November ballot.

The hearing was scheduled Monday after the City Clerk’s office received a written objection to the validity of Morgan’s nomination papers.

According to City Clerk Kathy Montejo, a clause in the charter allows anyone to submit a written statement to the city clerk within five days of the filing date for nomination papers if they have an objection to the validity of a candidate’s nomination papers. She said the charter provision has never been used.

The objection, from Ward 1 resident Maura Murphy, questions Morgan’s official residence, which is listed as 174 Holland St. on an affidavit of residency, but has been listed as a Webster Street address in recent arrest records. The Webster Street address is not in Ward 1.

Montejo said the objection “is challenging that Ward 1 is not his legal residence since he has used another residence address outside of Ward 1 as has been reported in the newspaper a few times in August.”

“Given the recent official criminal record associated with the candidate indicating an address far away from Ward One, I request that the City of Lewiston actively investigate, examine and verify the truth of the matter,” Murphy said in her statement.

Montejo said a prehearing will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday for both parties to present and receive information on Thursday’s administrative hearing, including exhibits and witnesses both sides plan to present.

In a letter to Murphy and Morgan, Montejo said she will “determine the appropriateness and admissibility of evidence, on the advice of the City Attorney.” The hearing is open to the public but no public comment will be taken.

Ultimately, Montejo will have the final authority on Morgan’s candidacy, and any appeals would go to Superior Court.

Montejo said state law regarding residency for voting purposes will be used as a standard for the hearing. The law stipulates several factors that can be considered in determining a person’s residence, but Montejo said not all of the factors must be present in order to conclude that an applicant qualifies to register to vote in the municipality.

Thursday’s hearing at 1 p.m. will be held in the Council Chamber at City Hall and is open the public.

Morgan is running against former School Committee Chairwoman Linda Scott for the Ward 1 seat. The seat is held by Safiya Khalid, who is not seeking reelection.

Morgan was accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend in a dispute over a car safety seat, a charge he denies. He was later charged with violating bail after allegedly contacting his ex-girlfriend.

Morgan addressed his arrest in a Facebook post in August, stating he and his ex-girlfriend “have had several years of custody issues that have also resulted in untrue allegations that have been dismissed by the court time and time again.”

Morgan has been a popular and vocal activist in the area over the past couple years. A real estate agent and disc jockey, in 2020 he organized some of the Black Lives Matter rallies in Lewiston-Auburn. He has also been an active participant in talks on police reform, serving on Mayor Mark Cayer’s ad hoc committee on equity and diversity.

“I am running for City Council because of what I believe in, and I have proven that in the city time and time again through the actions that I have taken to stand up for people’s rights including but certainly not limited to Black Lives Matter and women’s rights,” he said in the August post.

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