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Hayes resigns as HDTC chair after online controversy

by | Jun 5, 2023 | Featured: News, News

According to a statement from members of the Hopkinton Democratic Town Committee’s Executive Committee, longtime HDTC chair Darlene Hayes resigned Monday after being exposed for posting comments on news websites in town under various aliases.

HopNews posted a story Monday morning detailing Hayes’ actions on its website. According to a search of the Independent comments section, messages were left under stories this past April and May from the same IP address (which identifies the hosting computer) under various names, including N. Centino, Hopkinton Parent, WWJD, Welcoming Hopkinton Parent, Mary Jones and Heather.

The majority of the comments were critical of School Committee candidate Ashley Fogg, an unenrolled candidate who was running against two Democrats for one of the two open seats in the May 15 Annual Town Election. After losing the race, Fogg criticized Hayes for bullying and spreading misinformation.

“Like many residents of Hopkinton, we were surprised and disappointed to read this morning about the online activities of our colleague and friend Darlene Hayes,” reads the HDTC statement, attributed to vice chair Dick Duggan, recording secretary Ellen Rutter and technology secretary Amy Groves. “As officers of the HDTC, we wish to make it clear that the chair did not act on behalf of the HDTC or its membership. Such actions are not consistent with our principles of openness and transparency, or with our commitment to run positive campaigns. We have accepted Ms. Hayes’ resignation as chair.”

Hayes, who also serves as a commissioner on the Hopkinton Housing Authority, declined comment when reached by the Independent.

5 Comments

  1. Scott

    It’s about time

  2. gary lucas

    Wish I did not live near here

  3. Ray Peterson

    What has happened can be looked at as election interference. Freedom House has listed three types of election interference. One of which is informational measures ,in which online discussions are surreptitiously manipulated in favor of the government or particular parties or persons ,or to discredit a particular party or persons. Town leaders should be looking closely at the events that have unfolded the past few days and at minimum make a statement.

  4. Sandy Altamura

    What happened during the last town election was a huge misstep . No one is denying this on any level. Darlene has stepped up and owned it and resigned from her position on the HDTC. Now, while we all sort this out in our minds I want you all to consider the tremendous contribution Darlene has made! She put enormous energy and time in both the HDTC and Hopkinton in general. Darlene went to every event she can possibly could. Supported all causes that helped Hopkinton and it’s residents. Sponsored and arraigned public events and benefits. Stepped up when no one else could or would. Beat the bushes to find qualified candidates to run for open seats. She held a lot of people’s hands when they went through tough times personally . She had more energy and empathy than almost anyone I knew! She made a mistake like all of us have, but I’ll certainly not throw rocks. Please take a good look back. Don’t condone a bad action but I think this committee should also have her back. Personally I think we owe this to her!

  5. Joe Bruso

    Given claims by certain individuals and groups that “there is no evidence of election fraud/interference” at the national level, this should stand out as one example at the local level that proves the point with an exclamation mark. But I suppose some Hayes sympathizers are thinking the same thing Harry Reid said post-election when asked about his false claims that Mitt Romney didn’t pay his taxes: “Well it worked didn’t it?” Unfortunately, Hayes’ wicked actions may have played a role in the election results, and what remedy is now possible? None, of course.

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