LOWELL– Dominik Lay, the would-be replacement for Robert Hoey on the Lowell School Committee, will be participating in a hearing on Tuesday at 5 p.m. to determine his eligibility for the seat.
As The Sun previously reported, Lay would be next in line to replace Hoey because he received the next-highest number of votes in the 2019 School Committee race. However, the city received complaints about Lay’s address, asserting that his primary residence is in Brighton, not Lowell.
City Solicitor Christine O’Connor wrote a letter to the mayor and other relevant parties Tuesday night laying out her research apparently validating these complaints. Research she found shows that Lay has owned his Brighton property since 2015, however, a search of the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds shows that Lay has been associated with this property since November 1995. Over the years, Lay refinanced his mortgage multiple times, most recently in mid-2020.
O’Connor’s letter also states that Lay requested a change of address so his real estate and water bills would forward to his Brighton residence, and attested to a residential address in Brighton to the Lowell Board of Assessors relative to his ownership of his Lowell property.Lay also received a $3,153.02 residential exemption for his Brighton residence, “the maximum deduction allowable under this procedure for 2021,” as O’Connor notes in her letter. “In order to qualify for a residential exemption, the owner must own the property and live in it as a primary residency.”
The Sun was also able to obtain a Declaration of Homestead document for Lay’s Brighton residence in 2009, establishing that home as his primary residence.
The Lowell Election Commission found that Lay is registered to vote in Lowell, which is why he was able to run in the 2017 School Committee election and serve one term on the committee.
During the hearing, which will be attended by O’Connor, the Lowell Election Commission, Lay and a lawyer if he wishes, Lay will be able to make his case for his primary residence being on Walker Street in Lowell.