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Walsh Clings to Council Seat

Motion to Reconsider Resignation Order Fails to Get Votes

By Julie H. Park

The city council this week declined to re-open debate on an order calling for the resignation of convicted felon William H. Walsh from the council.

Walsh, who was found guilty on 41 counts of bank fraud and making false statements more than a month ago, has refused to resign his seat despite repeated calls for his departure from colleagues and Cambridge political observers.

The order requesting Walsh to resign from the council failed a week ago Monday after more than an hour of heated discussion.

The motion to reconsider, filed by Councillors Kathleen L. Born and Francis H. Duehay '55, was voted down this Monday night without discussion.

According to council procedure, the matter cannot be discussed until a motion to reconsider has passed.

Four councillors--Mayor Kenneth E. Reeves '72. Vice Mayor Sheila T. Russell and Councillors Michael A. Sullivan and Timothy J. Toomey--voted against the motion. Born, Duehay and Councillors jonathan S. Myers and Katherine Triantafillou voted in favour. Walsh abstained.

The vote reflected partisan splits on the council, since Born, Duehay, Triantafillou and Myers are all linked to the Cambridge Civic Association.

Walsh supporters Russell, Sullivan and Toomey are Independents, as is Walsh himself, and Reeves relied on Independent votes this year to retain his post as mayor.

Born and Duehay were attempting to re-open discussion on the council's decision last week to vote down the order calling for Walsh's resignation.

"It's sort of giving everyone a chance to reconsider their vote," Born said.

At last Monday's council meeting, Myers joined the order's three sponsors--Born, Duehay and Triantafillou--in voting in favor of the order. Russell and Toomey voted against. Reeves and Sullivan voted "present." Walsh abstained.

Triantafillou said she was not surprised at the failure of the motion to pass.

"I don't think anybody really thought something was going to change," she said. "The point was just to bring it up for a vote again and see if anybody had changed their mind. I think the disappointment was last week."

Legal experts have suggested in the weeks since Walsh's conviction that he may actually have been a scapegoat for Dime Savings, the bank he was convicted of defrauding.

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