WAKEFIELD — School Committeeman Rob Tiro, a Holy Cross senior elected to office last week, this morning answered critics who claim his campaign didn’t play fair during the last few days of the campaign.

In particular, the chairman of the committee to reelect Janine Iengo Cook to the School Committee — Fred Rich LaRiccia — has demanded an apology. Cook lost out in a three-way race for two three year terms on the school board.

Over the last week of the campaign, Tiro’s people sent out a mailer and a newspaper insert that included the name and title of Finance Committee Chairman Gerard Leeman as a supporter. Leeman has expressed his displeasure with the move because the Finance Committee is, as Leeman said last week, “devoutly” non-political. Leeman said he believes an honest mistake was made, while LaRiccia takes it a few steps further, intimating there was duplicity on the part of Tiro’s election committee.

At any rate, Tiro said the following today:

“I had no knowledge of any potential violations until after the mailer had gone out. Only afterward did I begin to assess whether a violation had been made which is an ongoing process. I’m new to this and part of being a newcomer to anything is that fact that you’re going to make mistakes. If that is the case, all I can do is apologize to the residents of Wakefield and assure them that it was not intentional. It was an honest mistake.”

In a paid advertisement in today’s paper, LaRiccia writes, “… your fraudulent town-wide mailer, paid for by the Massachusetts Republican State Committee, landed in 8,000 homes on Thursday, April 23, SIX days before the election. And your similarly fraudulent Item insert flyer — minus the correction which you did NOT make — was delivered to 3,900 homes on Monday, April 27. That’s 11,900 fraudulent propaganda hits. You only ‘beat’ School Committeewoman Janine Cook by 140 votes — 32 to 28 percent — not exactly a landslide for someone who was outspent four to one. Does anyone honestly believe 70 votes wouldn’t have flipped minus the fraud in a 10 percent low voter interest election?”

He concludes that Tiro owes “Mr. Leeman, Janine Cook and the people of Wakefield a confession or an apology.”