Two Haverhill Highway Department Workers Arrested on Drug Charges

Two employees of Haverhill’s Highway Department were arrested Thursday at 8 a.m., charged with narcotics offenses as the result of an investigation, police confirmed.

One of the employees was fired immediately and the other suspended, Mayor James J. Fiorentini told WHAV. A third individual, said to be a former city DPW worker, was also arrested in connection with the investigation. All three people are set for arraignment in Haverhill District Court later today.

Capt. Stephen J. Doherty Jr. said he would not release the names of those arrested until arraignment this afternoon. WHAV challenged the withholding of the names. Doherty said all three were being held at the Haverhill Police station.

This week’s arrests are the latest in a lengthy list of criminal offenses committed by employees at the city’s public works department.

In 2009, former highway superintendent James Flaherty and his foreman son Kevin Flaherty were convicted in Essex Superior Court for defrauding the City of Haverhill. The father and son duo utilized department employees and resources for personal gain and private projects, a multi-year investigation found. Both men served prison time.

Eight years later, in February 2017, Daniel Murray was arrested following an investigation by narcotics detectives for possession of Percocet. Murray pleaded not guilty to the charges and was suspended for five days without pay before agreeing to enter a drug treatment program. The former city worker was in his personal vehicle when taken into custody, but a police report indicated he had been spotted with the painkiller in a city truck and may have sold the drug.

Erik Frasca, a 19-year highway department employee living in Bradford, was placed on paid administrative leave following his October 2017 arrest for allegedly assaulting his wife. At the time, Haverhill District Court Judge Patricia Dowling issued Frasca a 90-day warning with a threat of possible time behind bars if another crime was committed.