Published in the October 6, 2016 edition.


NORTH READING — Andrew M. Lafferty of Georgetown is the town’s new Director of Public Works.

Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto announced Lafferty’s appointment as DPW Director Monday night, to take effect Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Lafferty succeeds former DPW Director Richard Carnevale who was one of nine DPW employees who resigned in March following an investigation into charges some DPW employees illegally purchased prescription painkillers (opioids) and other drugs. Carnevale, who served as DPW Director since 2009, was not implicated in the events or the charges that followed, but he resigned because the events took place during his tenure. One DPW employee remains on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

Since Carnevale’s resignation, the DPW had been under the direction of Acting Director Robert Moylan on a temporary basis. Moylan was originally appointed in April for a 90-day term, but stayed on the job longer than expected because the search process for a permanent successor took longer than expected.

“Mr. Lafferty brings 15 years of municipal public works and engineering experience to this position. He was most recently the public works director in Lynnfield and previously served as deputy public works director in Newburyport, senior civil engineer for Wakefield and various engineering positions in the private sector. He is also a U.S. Army reservist,” said Gilleberto.

Lafferty’s starting salary will be $115,000.

Gilleberto thanked the screening committee members who evaluated over 20 applications and interviewed seven candidates, forwarding two finalists, including Lafferty, to Gilleberto, who makes the appointment. The screening committee was made up of Finance Director Liz Rourke, Police Chief Michael Murphy, Acting DPW Director Moylan, Parks and Recreation Operations Manager Maureen Stevens, and Human Resources Administrator Alyson Olson.

Selectman Stephen O’Leary extended the board’s appreciation to Moylan for “stepping in and keeping the ship afloat and stabilized” for over six months. “He did a great job. I think he stayed longer than he anticipated but I know the town administrator certainly appreciated his efforts and so did the board.”

Board member Jeff Yull lauded Gilleberto for diligently going through the process to find the best person for the job. “It’s been a long process but I don’t think the T.A. compromised at all in his efforts to see the best man was chosen for the position. I have complete confidence in his choice.”

Lafferty was senior civil engineer in Wakefield for seven years and deputy DPW director in Newburyport for six years. He served as DPW Director in Lynnfield for two years, resigning in September of 2016.

When Lafferty resigned in Lynnfield, his resignation was accepted by the Board of Selectmen despite the objections of four DPW employees, who spoke in his support.

There was some criticism of Lafferty and his department in Lynnfield last spring concerning the condition and maintenance of fields around Memorial Day and Selectmen asked him to communicate more frequently, particularly with sports groups, regarding DPW initiatives.

The four DPW workers who came to the meeting showed loyalty to Lafferty, saying he was respected and well liked by his employees and had made improvements in the department.