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.