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Man in Hartland salvage yard case accused of harassment, keying neighbor’s vehicle

  • Ed Tobin, of Hartland, right, talks with Will Hunter, a former attorney of whom Tobin was once a client, while waiting with his partner of 25 years, Kelly DePalo, in Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction, Vt., Tuesday, July 30, 2019, before pleading not guilty to charges of stalking, unlawful mischief and disorderly conduct. The charges stem from the complaints of a neighbor. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Columnist
Saturday, August 10, 2019

The next-door neighbor who filed the initial complaint against Ed Tobin with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources nearly three years ago says he began harassing her after losing his environmental court case in February.

Marlene Murray, 62, of Hartland, alleges in criminal court documents that Tobin would scream obscenities at her when he drove past her house.

Murray and Tobin have been neighbors for more than 25 years on Independent Drive, a private, dead-end road off Quechee Road.

A Vermont environmental court judge ordered Tobin to pay $12,249 in penalties for violating state salvage yard rules and hazardous waste management regulations.

Murray’s complaint, which was part of the environmental court proceedings, is public record.

Last month, Tobin was charged with stalking — “due to his actions causing Murray emotional distress” — and aggravated disorderly conduct for engaging in “threatening behavior” with the intent to disturb her peace.

Authorities also allege that Tobin keyed a “bad word” into the driver’s side of Murray’s truck sometime this spring when it was parked in her driveway. He was charged with unlawful mischief.

Tobin, 62, pleaded not guilty to the charges in Windsor Superior Court on July 30. All three charges are misdemeanors, but since they carry the potential of jail time, Tobin was eligible for a public defender.

On the advice of his attorney, Brian Marsicovetere, Tobin declined to comment about the case.

Murray also declined an interview request.

In May, Stephen Murray told Vermont State Police that Tobin had been harassing his wife “because he feels she is responsible for his receiving fines” in environmental court.

In Murray’s complaint to ANR, she alleged that Tobin had dumped used motor oil on the private road. It turned out to be vegetable oil, a nonhazardous material, which Tobin said he used for, among other things, keeping down dust.

Although Tobin was cleared of spreading motor oil on the roadway, ANR investigators found other environmental violations on his property that a judge later ruled on in the state’s favor.

Other neighbors said they were unaware that Tobin was charged with vandalizing Murray’s car and two other misdemeanors.

Joe Hickey, who has lived on Independent Drive for about 30 years, praised Tobin for the work he’s done over the years to keep their private road in good condition.

Tobin is scheduled to return court on Sept. 4.

Jim Kenyon can be reached at jkenyon@vnews.com.