Retired Haverhill Police Chief DeNaro Asks State to Overturn Local Board’s Denial of Disability Pension

Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro delivered remarks during the department's memorial service May 27, 2019. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Retired Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro has asked the state to overturn the November decision of the Haverhill Retirement Board to deny him a disability pension.

Retirement Administrator David Van Dam confirmed Thursday the Haverhill Retirement Board voted Nov. 8 to deny DeNaro’s application for a publicly undisclosed health issue. The former chief filed his appeal to the state Contributory Retirement Appeal Board within the two-week period allowed following the city’s decision.

According to the minutes of the Haverhill Retirement Board, the five-member group reviewed a medical panel’s report before voting to deny the request. At the time, participating Retirement Board members were former city Auditor William J. Klueber, James Cleary and Haverhill Chief Financial Officer Angel Perkins. Members Richard MacDonald, who also serves as the city’s inspectional services director, and former Deputy Fire Chief Lewis F. “Jerry” Poore Jr. were absent. Poore passed away earlier this month.

DeNaro, who retired during the spring of 2021, filed separate applications at the time for standard and disability retirement. He receives his standard pension, which pays up to 50% of his former salary. A disability pension pays 72% of an employee’s salary.

During a farewell address before the Haverhill City Council shortly after he stepped down, the police chief pointed to goals he achieved such as winning accreditation for the department.

“The other big thing was the mental health counselor, which is something we battled to get into the budget. It’s so very important that we stay with that program. We give that thing a chance to bloom and to operate effectively. I think it is going to really pay dividends to this community as far as what you’re going to see as a benefit out of that,” he told councilors.

The former chief was appointed in 2002 by former Mayor John J. Guerin Jr.

Because DeNaro’s appeals involves a disability matter, the Contributory Retirement Appeal Board consists of an assistant attorney general, who acts as the chairman; state commissioner of Public Health or designee; and a person appointed by the governor. The board is required to assign the matter to an administrative magistrate from the Division of Administrative Law Appeals who will conduct a hearing and write a decision. Any decision may be appealed by either side to the Superior Court.

Should DeNaro prevail, he would be eligible for extra payments retroactive to his retirement date.

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