Fiorentini Has Surgery to Remove ‘Growth;’ Will Be Out of Work About 4 Weeks

Mayor James J. Fiorentini outlines his master plan for Haverhill during his 2018 inauguration ceremony. Councilor Melinda E. Barrett is at left while Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito is at right. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Mayor James J. Fiorentini during his inaugural address earlier this month. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini is resting at home after a hospital stay and surgery last week to remove a growth.

The mayor told WHAV he will be out of the office for about four weeks.

“They removed a growth. I was in the hospital five days at Mass. General. My prognosis is excellent.”

The mayor’s unexpected absence at last week’s School Committee meeting and a Mayor’s and Town Manager’s Breakfast Forum had caused speculation about his health. He decided he needed to address the talk.

“I didn’t want people to get alarmed, but on the other hand, I did feel that the Council and School Committee had the right to know this,” he said.

Asked whether the health issue came as a surprise, the mayor said he would discuss details at a later time. Fiorentini said he will work from home, while Council President John A. Michitson has agreed to fill in for him whenever necessary. “My staff comes over every day. We have a morning meeting just like we do at work. I sign all of the documents.”

While he said he has “limited accessibility and ability to attend functions,” the mayor said he is in good hands.

“I have a great team taking care of me and I have a wonderful team taking care of me at home,” said the mayor.