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Letter to the Editor: Select Board should not have allowed anonymous attacks on Kramer

by | Aug 20, 2020 | Letter to Editor

The ghost of Willie Horton made an appearance during the public comment section of Tuesday night’s Select Board meeting. In what was clearly an orchestrated attack on one of the town’s most dedicated volunteers — Muriel Kramer — a group of citizens were granted the screen of anonymity by Select Board chair Brendan Tedstone to engage in an all-out attempt at character assassination complete with demands that Ms. Kramer resign her position on the Planning Board and never be allowed to serve the town again.

Some board members expressed concern with the process veering from the norms of public comment — you show up if you want to be heard and you state your name and address for the record. Mr. Tedstone argued that these citizens, some who “bravely” sent letters and some attending via an anonymous Zoom presence, had “legitimate concerns for their safety,” their families and their jobs.

Muriel Kramer’s offense? Serving as treasurer for the Massachusetts Bail Fund. The fund has come under scrutiny and justifiable criticism for two cases where men indicted on sexual assault charges were bailed out by the fund and one has since been charged with committing another rape. “She’s the one who writes the checks!” the commentators asserted. Detail of the crimes were woven together as a very broad brush with which to paint Ms. Kramer. Her character was called into question as well as her judgment.

Is MBF faultless? No, but there is plenty of blame to go around — the judge who granted bail in the first place as well as the prosecutors who did not then call for dangerousness hearings which would have kept the offenders in jail until trial.

One commentator listed off others who were bailed out by MBF along with the crimes they were charged with. This begs the question: Were they all then actually convicted of those crimes? I guess it doesn’t matter when really the whole point of this was to frighten people, destroy a good person’s reputation and try to keep her from participating in town politics.

Having known Muriel for over 10 years I have long admired her commitment and service to the town, which takes so many forms. I am disappointed that events of Tuesday night took place at all, but even more so that it happened at a Select Board meeting.

— Anne Mattina, Hopkinton

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