Sheriff-Elect Coppinger Monitors Fifth Avenue Half-Way House Plan

Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Essex County Sheriff-Elect Kevin F. Coppinger during an interview earlier this year at WHAV.

Essex County Sheriff-Elect Kevin F. Coppinger said it is not yet his place to interfere with the siting of a prison inmate prerelease home on Fifth Avenue, but he has talked with Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini. He said he will step in if issues remain when he takes office in January.

In a telephone interview with WHAV, Coppinger said he is “the new person on the block and coming up to speed.” He warned, however, “there are two versions of the story” and sitting Sheriff Frank G. Cousins should address that.

“I’ll stand on the sidelines and see what’s happening. If it goes into January, and it becomes my issue, I will work with local officials,” Coppinger said, after a stressed morning of his own following a deadly police shooting of an armed robbery suspect earlier in Lynn. Coppinger remains police chief in Lynn until he takes office.

Haverhill city councilors plan to discuss tonight the proposed placement of nine inmates at a three-family home at 36-38 Fifth Ave. The building is owned by Gary Greco, who purchase it last year for $319,000, according to city records. A Gary Greco, of Newbury, listed as owner of the Starboard Galley restaurant, Newburyport, is on file as having donated $1,000 to Cousins’ reelection campaigns since 2006.

City councilors say Haverhill receives more than its share of undesirable projects.

“At some point the burden has to be spread around to different communities. We really are profoundly living up to our share. Some of these things have to exist in our society, but one community can’t absorb it all,” Council Vice President Melinda E. Barrett told WHAV this week.

Coppinger said he spoke with Fiorentini and Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro Monday afternoon in telephone conversations. He said he also traded voice and emails with Councilor Andy Vargas on the topic.

WHAV was unsuccessful by deadline in reaching Barbara Maher, chief financial officer and spokesperson for Cousins.

Sheriff-Elect Busy with Deadly Shooting of Lynn Suspect

Coppinger was awakened early this morning when he received reports one of his Lynn police officers had shot an armed robbery suspect at 3:47 a.m. He said the suspect allegedly displayed a handgun, violently scuffled with an employee of a Gulf gasoline station near the Lynnway and Commercial street and left with undetermined amount of money. Based on a description of the suspect, Lynn officers confronted the man on the Lynnway, Coppinger said.

“He had his hands hidden in his pockets. They ordered him to show his hands and he refused, but kept advancing on the officers. The officers backed up to give him more room. After continuing to advance the officer shot him,” Coppinger said. The man was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where he dies two hours later, he said.

Following established protocols, Coppinger said, all further comments will come from Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office.

5 thoughts on “Sheriff-Elect Coppinger Monitors Fifth Avenue Half-Way House Plan

  1. We already have 30+ DCF facilities in Haverhill. These facilities house troubled juveniles from other Massachusetts communities and they don’t want to be here. The Haverhill Police Department spends untold man hours attempting to locate runaways. When does this foolishness stop?

    In the past few weeks there have not been any runaways listed in the police reports which leads me to ask…… Have the owners of these facilities stepped up to the plate to find these young people quickly so police involvement has not been necessary? Has security tightened at the facilities, have the police logs just stopped reporting these runaways and the problem still exists but hidden from the public?

    As a result of this additional work, the police department says it needs more police officers. Then we have taxpayers who are required to pay and pay and pay to hunt down these runaways. Has the DCF now stepped in and provided the necessary security so that this is no longer an issue? It certainly is not a good deal if OUR Haverhill Police Department is chasing runaways and Haverhill is not reimbursed for the cost of the man hours expended for this purpose. NO ONE KNOWS, BECAUSE NO ONE IS TALKING!

    So now the Sheriff’s Office is planning to locate a prerelease home on Fifth Avenue? Why Haverhill, and when is enough, enough. Isn’t Haverhill shouldering enough of the burden? Locate the prerelease home in some other town and let us settle in with what is already here!

    We don’t need any additional problems. AND, who will be required to pay when an adult prerelease person runs away from his/her prerelease facility. Who will reimburse Haverhill for the man hours spent chasing down these prerelease people. No one explains that one!

  2. Mayor Jimmy’s wife, yet another member of The Bevilacqua Clan, and of course Haverhill DEMCC, run by City Solicitor Cox contributed to Coppinger. Interesting to see resigned in disgrace Braddour on the list, but shed no tears, instead of being an “unindicted co-conspirator” turned felon, he got a nice Beacon Hill lobbying job. Also nice to see a Peabody Properties employee donating, as well as Harbor Place’s own Mike Fish. This will surely make The Fish Family happy since they own most of all the large buildings in Haverhill the poor/Section 8 reside in anyways.

    I’m sure any and all agreements will be above board in this nepotistic, pay-to-play city and state.

    • Great post, Duncan!

      Can you check to see how much money Sal Lupoli has contributed to mayor Taxman, Dempsey, et. al.?
      How is it taxman can recommend the city council approve the sale of city owned property to Lupoli without first putting it out for public sale?

      Pay to play alright !

      • So long as no special treatment is given or accepted, they can donate to whomever they want. I donate as well. Not because I expect a favor but I support a good person who needs the money to get elected. We can criticize the Mayor heavily because he has warranted it by his own actions. But we need to understand that most people who run are good people. You are hard on Dempsey but without him, Haverhill would be in state control ( I know, not a bad idea), He’s a good guy and for Haverhill. I have called him on many things and his office is first class with me. Have gotten a lot done.

        Pay to play has been going on since the beginning of time. It’s human nature to take care of those when they take care of you. Our individual moral compass determines our fate under the pubic and private eye. If Sal wants to invest in Haverhill, by all means welcome. I like what he accomplished in Lawrence.

        I understand where you are coming from Duncan. I agree with your posts regarding public money in these projects. But, there is another side. If that money is going to be spent in other areas that provide no positive benefit, then I rather give it to Sal or Harbor Place or whomever that are willing to gamble some of their money too. It has benefits to the host community. They are going to spend it somewhere anyway.

        • As for Dempsey, I do not tolerate anyone who lies or is deceitful to me personally, which I have experienced from him, even if he doesn’t remember it (Niki Tsongas being another).

          There are politicians who do not “pay-to-play”, and those are the only ones I support. Locally, we have State Representative Lenny Mirra who takes ZERO monies from corporations, special interest or lobbyist groups. I did not donate to him this time around because I do not believe in running unopposed, I was also gerrymandered out his District, but will still support him. He is also one of the only politicians in Massachusetts that actually believes and votes in the name of personal liberty for ALL, something Dempsey et al can never claim based on his votes.

          Public monies have in fact done a lot of good, especially in technological advancements (i.e. military R&D), but that’s not what we have here in Haverhill. The ROI on those monies is a drain because a majority of those monies simply do not exist (via deficit financing, evermore debt issuance). Or, they go to an increasingly sizable population that take ever-shrinking resources from those of us paying for those lesser returns. The two best examples would be law enforcement and education, more so education because of the size of their budget. The size of the classrooms alone is reflective of gross negligence on the part of politicians in this city, as well as their academic ranking across the state. Now they want more state subsidized humans with criminal backgrounds to be delivered to the city to consume even more resources. Brilliant.