Friends, Family Urge Scatamacchia to Fight Charges, Remain on Council

Haverhill City Councilor William H. Ryan.

Haverhill City Councilor William H. Ryan.

Haverhill City Council Vice President Robert H. Scatamacchia remains a member of that body as friends and family urge him to fight allegations of stealing $72,000 in funeral prepayment money and pocketing $200,000 in other business funds.

Scatamacchia’s council colleague, William H. Ryan, this morning is walking back comments he reportedly made yesterday about Scatamacchia’s imminent resignation.

“I’m not sure what he is doing. He’s probably going to look at it. I don’t think (the resignation) is coming today. He’s meeting with his family and friends and taking a really hard look at it,” Ryan told WHAV this morning.

City Council Administrative Assistant Barbara S. Arthur told WHAV Thursday morning no resignation had been received. One of Scatamacchia’s colleagues, Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien, told WHAV nothing was mentioned as she and several other councilors attended a wake Wednesday for Christopher S. LePage, son of Councilor Colin F. LePage.   However, she said such a decision would be up to Scatamacchia.

City Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O'Brien.

City Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien.

“He needs to do the right thing for himself and his family. These are very difficult times and I certainly wouldn’t want to pass judgment on anything. As councilor Michitson pointed out, it’s ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and I want to give him every option to do what he needs to do for himself and his family,” Daly O’Brien said.

Scatamacchia, a former funeral director, is free on $5,000 cash bail after a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf Tuesday in Salem Superior Court. He was charged with two counts of larceny over $250.

Should a council seat become vacant, Daly O’Brien believes it should remain unfilled until the upcoming November city elections, as opposed to a temporary appointment of a runner-up from the 2013 election.

“We are able to function as a group of eight quite well. And unless there’s some pressing reason that it would be – and I can’t see a pressing reason – I cannot see that there would ever be a pressing reason for us to have nine just for a few months,” Daly O’Brien said.

Both Scatmacchia and his attorney, Scott Gleason of Haverhill, were unavailable for WHAV’s requests for comment. WHAV also placed calls to Council President John A. Michitson.

10 thoughts on “Friends, Family Urge Scatamacchia to Fight Charges, Remain on Council

  1. “We are able to function as a group of eight quite well…”
    Really Mary Ellen? Please tell us it is your group actually does other than being a rubber stamp for the Mayor and all his lying and thievery? When is the last time YOU or any councilor have fought for the taxpayers of the city? Taxes are through the roof in Haverhill and none of you seem to mind because you all support this admitted liberal tax and spend mayor. Is raising and finding ways to create new taxes your idea of ‘working quite well’?

    • Right Jack – remember – ‘functioning’ and representing are two different things. “Functioning’ can mean getting up having coffee – and then going back to bed.

      Of course – that’s probably what she meant basically.

  2. If he resigns the seat SHOULD be filled immediately – maybe O’Brien doesn’t see a need – but I do – its called representation – something O’Brien fails at miserably.

    • You are so right, Chairman — the spot SHOULD be immediately filled. Not fair to the already overburdened taxpayers to do otherwise. Because Scatamacchia is the equivalent of a “friend” of other City Councillors is no reason to leave the seat vacant.

    • Sure, it’s called representation, and remember that you’ll have your choice to pick a representative in just a few months. Should he decide to resign, Mrs. O’Brien is absolutely correct. There’s absolutely no reason to hold an election today, and another in a few months. It would be a giant distraction, waste of resources, and waste of effort.

      • Wrong George – try listening – you name someone to the seat who was the last ‘runner-up’ I didn’t call for two elections.

        Stop being a lap dog for O’Brien – she doesn’t represent you or any taxpayer in this city other than being a rubber stamp for the Mayor.

        The seat should be filled IMMEDIATELY and he should resign IMMEDIATELY as this embarrasses the city.

  3. On the other hand, Jack, do you REALLY want someone whose thoughts and concerns are consumed by defending himself against two major theft charges to be on the City Council? Seems to me that Scatamacchia is doing the right thing in resigning his council position. This will give him time to devote his full attention to his defense.

    Whether he is guilty or not is a matter for the courts to decide. I, for one, do not want a preoccupied City Councillor to remain on the City Council because the stakes are too high for Haverhill taxpayers. Scatamacchia has made the right choice. Should he be found not guilty, he can run again for City Council and voters can if they so choose, put him back on the City Council.

  4. He’s innocent until proven guilty. There is an election in November. If the residents of Haverhill decide he should resign, then they can vote him out.