LEWISTON – As a hearing got underway Thursday to determine whether Ward 1 City Council candidate Dane Morgan will appear on the November ballot, Morgan peered at the woman who accused him of faking his home address on election paperwork.

“Let the games begin,” he declared.

For more than two hours at City Hall, Morgan and Maura Murphy presented conflicting evidence about whether or not Morgan lives in the little blue house on Holland Street, where he claimed to reside when he filed a petition to become a council candidate in Ward 1.

After bemoaning the need for her to fill “the role of Nancy Drew” investigating the issue, Murphy presented a range of documents from the Lewiston police, the Androscoggin County Jail, a state court and Sun Journal stories and photographs that she insisted make it “amply and unequivocally clear” that Morgan actually lived on Webster Street, which is not in Ward 1.

Dane Morgan, left, and Maura Murphy present evidence Thursday at a Lewiston City Hall hearing on Morgan’s residency that will determine if he remains on the Ward 1 City Council ballot. A decision is expected early next week. Steve Collins/Sun Journal

Officials said City Clerk Kathy Montejo will pore over the evidence and likely issue a decision early next week on whether Morgan can remain on the ballot.

She’ll have a lot to consider.

Morgan, who is Black, insisted that his white accuser uses racist rhetoric to create discord and has a long history of attacking public figures in Lewiston whom she doesn’t like. He called it appalling that the hearing, a rarely-used legal mechanism, aimed “to stop inclusion and equity in our city.”

Murphy said she holds no animosity toward Morgan, but believes she has a civic duty to ensure the Ward 1 council member lives in the district.

Morgan said he moved out of the Webster Street house last fall, after a breakup, and moved to 174 Holland St., where he has lived ever since.

He said that when police arrested him last month for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend in a dispute over a car safety seat, they mistakenly listed her address as his own, an error repeated by jail, bail, court and other officials as they prepared paperwork based on the initial arrest record.

Murphy said she noticed that Morgan’s address in the arrest log in the Sun Journal did not match the one on his election paperwork — it wasn’t even in the same ward.

“This is where it all began,” Murphy said, because the discrepancy left her perplexed. She let it go initially, she said, but when the Webster Street address showed up in the paper a second time she began asking questions.

A woman who lives next door to the house at 174 Holland St., Jasmine Freedman, said Morgan has lived there since late last year. Moreover, she said, he’s been the only person who has helped her consistently through pandemic-related issues.

He, “showed up on my porch like an angel,” Freedman said.

Morgan said that if Murphy really wanted to know where he lived, she had a better option that filing a complaint with the city clerk.

“How come you didn’t just come and knock on my door?” Morgan asked her. He said he would have been happy to show her around his house – and is still ready to open the door for Murphy or Montejo if they want to see where he lives.

“I have nothing to hide,” Morgan said.

If the city rules in his favor, Morgan will run against Linda Scott for the Ward 1 seat in the Nov. 2 municipal election.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: