The chairman of the Clark County Republican Party, who last month was elected president of the Young Republican National Federation, has resigned both posts, apparently in the wake of a criminal investigation.
On Tuesday, Glenn Murphy Jr. e-mailed media a letter announcing his resignation from both positions, citing an unexpected business opportunity that would prohibit him from holding a partisan political office.
However, on Friday the Clark County Sheriff’s Department began investigating Murphy for alleged criminal deviate conduct — potentially a class B felony — after speaking with a 22-year-old man who claims that on July 31, Murphy performed an unwanted sex act on him while the man slept in a relative’s Jeffersonville home.
Murphy, a 33-year-old Utica resident, has not been arrested nor has he been charged with a crime. Such police reports are generally confidential, but a copy of it has been posted on a politically focused Internet site and another was provided to a reporter with The Evening News and The Tribune on Tuesday evening.
Larry Wilder, Murphy’s attorney, said Murphy is cooperating with police and Prosecutor Steve Stewart. Wilder said Murphy contends the sex act was consensual.
A reporter was unable to reach Stewart on Tuesday evening.
Murphy's attorney, Larry Wilder, confirms that Murphy engaged in a sexual act with the victim. The question is whether the sex was consensual. Hypocrisy is the first thing that came to my mind when I first learned about these allegations earlier today. Last fall, I had a conversation with another fellow Republican who shared my concern that several GOP candidates and officeholders in Indiana appeared to be taken in by the up-and-coming Murphy. This concerned both of us because Murphy was urging the candidates he advised to use divisive social wedge issues like the gay marriage debate to pummel Democratic candidates. As I reported earlier today, Murphy was a close political advisor to former U.S. Rep. Mike Sodrel, who has been weighing a re-match with U.S. Rep. Baron Hill, who last year recaptured the seat Sodrel took from him in 2004. Gov. Mitch Daniels also made glowing comments about Murphy in support of his campaign for YR president last month. Daniels said of Murphy, "Glenn Murphy is one of the most well-respected Republican leaders in Indiana." "His media savvy and grassroots skills helped transform Southeast Indiana from a Democrat stronghold to a Republican growth area. He shoots for the 'impossible', and more often than not, he succeeds. I wholeheartedly endorse Glenn Murphy for Chairman of the Young Republican National Federation and his team for national leadership."
It is my hope that if anything good can come of this sad development it is a realization by the leaders of the Indiana Republican Party that the constant use of these social wedge issues like gay marriage are extremely hurtful to Indiana's gay and lesbian citizens and, in the end, the practice always comes back to bite you hard in the ass when the people closest to you aren't able to live up to the high moral standards they set for everyone else. Being gay is not an abomination; it is an innate characteristic. Accept it and move on. I've met so many guys in my many years of participation as an activist in the Republican Party just like Murphy who feel compelled to live double lives. In the end, they always wind up self-destructing ala Mark Foley. How many more Mark Foleys and Glenn Murphys must the party endure before it gives up its grudge match with gays and lesbians?
UPDATE: The Louisville Courier-Journal has more on the story here. According to reporter Ben Hershberg, Murphy is sticking to his story that he resigned his two party positions because he obtained a major contract which requires him not to hold any partisan positions and not because of the alleged sexual assault. The newspaper quotes Murphy's attorney Larry Wilder: "Wilder said Murphy's resignation announcement from the GOP positions was unrelated to the blog posting. He said Murphy had been pursuing a major client for his advertising agency for months and recently won the contract, but the client won't allow Murphy to engage in partisan politics." Wilder also complains about the fact police leaked the police report about the victim's complaint to Jen Wagner, communications director for the Indiana Democratic Party and editor of Taking Down Words. Wagner responded to Wilder's complaint: "Jennifer Wagner, communications director for the Indiana Democratic Party, said that she operates the blog during her free time and that its content is independent of the party. Wagner declined to say how she obtained the report but said that as a well-known Democratic blogger, "I get all kinds of documents." Wagner said she did not post it for political purposes." Wilder's attorney also insists that a mention in the police report of Murphy contacting the victim to discuss what the victim wanted in order to resolve the matter should not be construed as an offer for a monetary settlement. "Wilder said he was not making a monetary offer."