Mayor Gives Laliberty One-Year Fire Chief Contract

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini with new Fire Chief William F. Laliberty. (Dana Esmel photograph.)

A Haverhill Fire Department deputy will serve at least one year as the city’s next “acting” fire chief while retaining his deputy rank through civil service.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini Thursday afternoon named Deputy Chief and 29-year department veteran William F. Laliberty to succeed interim Fire Chief John E. Parow as “new acting chief,” beginning July 1. He will receive a one-year contract as chief at a $125,000 salary. At a city hall news conference, Fiorentini said a field of 26 applicants from across the country was narrowed to six who underwent testing by an outside “assessment center” group of “retired chiefs and town managers with experience in hiring fire chiefs.” He pointed out Laliberty was among the “top finishers” and, in recent years, had also improved fire prevention relations with city business.

“Several years ago the fire prevention office in Haverhill, frankly, was in a difficult place and had a difficult relationship with local businesses. One businessman told he would never come to Haverhill because of the fire prevention office. Other businesses threatened to leave. This man, Bill Laliberty, straightened it all out. He’s had a great working relationship with all of our businesses,” Fiorentini said.

“And it was a difficult decision for me because there was some great choices, to be frank to you. But I felt the person who could best continue the progress that’s been made over the past year – that’s been part of the progress and changes – is Deputy Laliberty,” Fiorentini added.

Laliberty thanked the mayor in his remarks.

“I’m very grateful for bestowing this position on me. I look forward to working with the mayor and the city to carry the mission of the fire department forward and to do the job that’s necessary,” Laliberty said.

Fiorentini told WHAV while Laliberty would have the option of a three year contract next year, he would protect his civil service rank of deputy in the event he does not continue as chief.

“Chief, he’s out of civil service but still, I want him to keep his deputy chief rank. Deputies make more money than the chief but I don’t anticipate that happening. I have great confidence in Chief Laliberty and I anticipate him being here a long time,” Fiorentini said.

The fire chief’s position was previously removed from civil service protection by the city council and legislators, intended for a successor to the late Fire Chief Richard B. Borden.

As WHAV reported last year Laliberty, following Borden’s death in May, 2015, became temporary fire chief before Parow’s interim appointment.

Parow, meanwhile, said he is leaving to return to work as a consultant. However, he told WHAV a departmental study and strategic plan was crafted during his time in Haverhill to help guide Laliberty and the department for at least the next two years.

“I did that with the command staff, including Deputy Laliberty. What we did, we put together a plan to carry us forward for the next two years so we would have some continuity no matter who took over as chief when I left,” Parow said. “That’s the plan we have, but we developed a bunch of other internal plans including a 25 year replacement plan for the vehicles so we could improve our equipment.”

Parow also told WHAV his first role after leaving June 30 will be as keynote speaker July 1 when four new Haverhill firefighter recruits graduate from a firefighter’s academy in Stow, Mass. He also called communications, “both ways between your own men and the mayor” a “key to a successful chief.”

Laliberty’s appointment as “acting” fire chief, according to Fiorentini, received “unanimous” recommendation from a city hiring committee consisting of Parow, Public Safety Commissioner Alan R. DeNaro, Inspectional Services Director Richard MacDonald, Director of Purchasing and Energy Orlando Pacheco and Director of Human Resources Denise McClanahan.

2 thoughts on “Mayor Gives Laliberty One-Year Fire Chief Contract

  1. Mayor Taxman hiring Laliberty tells you all you need to know about what a morally reprehensible hack he is personally, his total disregard for the best interests of Haverhill taxpayers, and how corrupt his whole administration has been.

    As Deputy Chief William Laliberty intentionally signed documents stating that he took an EMT refresher course which is required by The State of Massachusetts, when the fact is, he never took the course. In the process, he was compensated $1,800.00 by The City of Haverhill. It’s bad enough that he knowingly stole money from city taxpayers, but he also put lives in danger for not being current in his EMT training, Laliberty secretly and with malice set out to defraud and steal from city taxpayers who pay his salary. In the real world what Laliberty and his 29 buddies who also lied and stole from city taxpayers did is consider felony theft and fraud. Not under mayor taxman! Under this mayor not only do you not get fired or suffer any personal or professional consequences, but you get a promotion.

    What better shining symbol of the corruption and incompetence of this mayor than to promote this thief !!