Judge Questions Delay as Haverhill DPW Drug Case Enters Seventh Month: ‘Let’s Move This Case Forward’

Kevin Moriarty (left), Erik Frasca and Steve Allen appeared in Haverhill District Court on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (WHAV News photograph)

DPW employees Steven Allen and Erik Frasca were arrested along with former city worker Kevin Moriarty last August, and as their drug possession case continues in Haverhill District Court, the accused aren’t the only ones frustrated as the case enters its seventh month.

At a compliance hearing Monday, Haverhill District Court Judge Stephen S. Abany wondered aloud why the men have had to largely put their “lives on pause”—to attend several hearings about the case, which centers around an alleged drug deal made at City Hall. According to a police report filed Aug. 30, Frasca—a 19-year employee—was found in possession of a broken blue pill believed to be Oxycodone. He is said to have conspired with co-defendant Allen to obtain the pill from Moriarty.

“Let’s move this case forward. These guys’ lives are on hold and on pause,” Abany said Monday. “I want to preserve everybody’s rights and make sure the Commonwealth has the ability to do what they have to do, but the faster we resolve this, the faster people can get on with their lives.”

When the case picks up again in April, it will have been continued five times.

All three men are charged with possession of a Class B drug and conspiracy to violate drug laws. Moriarty must also answer to a distribution charge.

Frasca’s attorney, John B. Bjorlie, said Monday he is working with Assistant District Attorney John DePaulo to clarify whether or not additional surveillance footage exists from City Hall and surrounding buildings that may have captured what police said was a “hand-to-hand” drug transaction.

In court Monday, Bjorlie said he hopes to clear up what he called “conflicting information” in various anonymous reports about the trio’s arrests.

Earlier this month, WHAV and an out-of-town newspaper received a heavily blacked out copy of the 83-page report written by Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro that highlighted the police investigation triggered by anonymous complaints similar to those that led to Frasca, Allen and Moriarty’s arrests. DeNaro’s report appears to zero in on undisclosed “allegations” against DPW superintendent Brian Zaniboni.

The City of Haverhill’s outside lawyer previously gave the impression the report focused on Frasca, Allen and Moriarty’s arrests. However, the investigation is far more broad-based, touching on sloppy city construction work, abuse of sick leave, nepotism and the undisclosed allegation against Zaniboni.

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