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(NECN: Ally Donnelly) - Congressman Delahunt has faced recent criticism about the handling of the 1986 Amy Bishop shooting case, which happened when he was Norfolk County District Attorney. He says the case has nothing to do with his decision to retire.
Close friends say the lawmaker has been considering stepping down for years.
Massachusetts Congressman William Delahunt recently told NECN that the Amy Bishop case would have no bearing on whether or not he would run for re-election.
But in Delahunt's home district of Quincy, some constituents aren't so sure.
Robin Buttomer/Braintree: He doesn't want his name all over the papers again.
Jim Wagner/Raynham, MA: He doesn't have to answer the hard questions anymore.
Jim Neal: That's probably weighing heavily on it.
The seven-term Democrat has considered becoming a private citizen for several years and says he is ready to have more time with his family.
Wendy Murphy: "Oh, please. That's the oldest, least credible excuse in the book -- spending time with the family!"
Wendy Murphy is an outspoken defense attorney and says Delahunt -- who was the local district attorney at the time -- caved under criticism of how he handled the 19-86 shooting death of Seth Bishop in Braintree by his sister Amy, now accused of killing three colleagues at the University of Alabama last month.
Murphy: "If he doesn't run for re-election, then the media and his political opponents have far less incentive to dig into his role into what many people are calling a botched investigation."
Norfolk County District Attorney William Keating has called for a judicial inquest into the shooting -- which was ruled an accident despite a number of now glaring loose ends. Delahunt has said his office did nothing wrong -- that Braintree police never told them Bishop fled the house after the shooting and turned a loaded shotgun on two car dealer employees demanding a getaway car.
An excuse Murphy calls ridiculous.
Murphy: Delahunt was in charge. When there's a murder and the State Police CPAC unit gets involved, the buck stops with Delahunt.
Murphy says there is a missing piece to this puzzle and thinks Delahunt knows more than he's saying.
Murphy: Who would have had the power to make a homicide go away? His silence is so deafening on the most important things that suspicion keeps building and building.
David Yas, with Mass Lawyers Weekly says rather than fuel the rumor mill; he will wait to hear the outcome of the inquest."
Yas: Conspiracy, cover up is a bit far fetched it's probably more likely there was sloppiness and now people are backtracking.