Published in the January 25, 2018 edition


NORTH READING — Capt. Donald Stats Jr. was sworn in as the town’s Provisional Fire Chief Monday morning to fill the vacancy created due to the retirement of Fire Chief Bill Warnock last Friday.

The appointment was made over the weekend by Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto, and became official once he was sworn in by his mother, Town Clerk Barbara Stats.

DONALD STATS JR. is sworn in as the town’s Provisional Fire Chief by his mother, Town Clerk Barbara Stats, Monday morning. Looking on, from left, are his sons, Zack and Jake, and his wife Tracy. (Maureen Doherty Photo)

The T.A. told he crowd of firefighters, family and town employees who had gathered in room 14 at Town Hall to witness the ceremony that he anticipates this appointment would last for six to 12 months until the completion of the assessment center process through Civil Service, which will be used to assess the candidates who will become finalists for the position.

“For those who don’t know, the position of Fire Chief in North Reading is a civil service position. That means that we are required to follow a state-mandated process of examination or assessment to identify a list of qualified candidates for permanent appointment,” Gilleberto said.

In the interim, Stats will be charged with leadership and oversight of the Fire Department. “Mr. Stats was selected based on his combined education, experience, and leadership, as well as his insight to the operation of the department,” Gilleberto said, adding, “I wish to thank the other candidates from within the department. I had a difficult choice to make from multiple qualified candidates, and I was impressed with the qualifications and perspective of the candidates.”

Gilleberto added that Town Counsel confirmed that no ethics laws would be violated by having Stats’ mother administer the oath of office.

In fact, it marked the third time Mrs. Stats has administered the oath to her son. The first time was back in 1998, when he was appointed as a firefighter by then-Chief Ed O’Brien about six months after she had become Town Clerk. She administered the oath again when her son was appointed captain in 2011.