Haverhill City Council Calls for Release of Wood Documents, Asks Inspector General to Intervene

Assistant City Clerk Rose Leonard-Flynn accepts a letter from Dennis D. Everett Jr., a founder of the faith-based Power of Self Education, and Calvary Baptist Church Pastor Kenneth M. Young, asking for a vote of no confidence. (WHAV News photograph.)

The full Haverhill City Council this Juneteenth weekend called for the release of all investigative reports related to Haverhill School Committee member and former police officer Scott W. Wood Jr. and asked the state inspector general to intervene.

In a statement released Saturday, all nine city councilors said the requests follow a series of WHAV reports alleging Wood used racist and sexist language in instant messages sometime between 2007 and 2009, made unwelcome sexual advances and engaged in misconduct while working as a college police officer.

Juneteenth, celebrated as a holiday Monday, commemorates the day in 1865 when Texas became the last state in the nation to be notified of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to free its’ slaves.

WHAV plans extensive follow-up coverage Monday about recent events involving Wood and reaction.

Here is the full City Council statement.

To the Haverhill Community:

In the wake of the allegations against School Committee member and mayoral candidate Scott Wood of racism, sexual harassment, and job misconduct, this message intends to communicate the City Council’s zero tolerance for any type of hateful speech or acts that are directed towards a person, a group, a community, or a population.

Your City Council firmly stands against all acts of hatred in all forms against a person or groups of people. We unequivocally condemn divisive forces of hate, and injustice against all persons, families, and communities. Hate speech is a threat to democracy, social cohesion, and order.

Public officials are held to a high standard of conduct and rightly so, as it requires a level of ongoing public trust earned by maintaining integrity of purpose and conduct, including speech.

The City Council unanimously voiced support for the recent budget addition of a Diversity Consultant for our city to uphold the ethical standards that underlie being a public servant and to allow a space for dialoguing, raising awareness, advancing recruitment and retention efforts, supporting antiracism action plans, partnering with citizens and groups to encourage community engagement, and fostering a respectful and inclusive environment where everyone feels like they belong.

We support the release of the investigative reports that are public record from 2013 through 2022 to the public, including the governing bodies of the city, to assess the information and take local action as warranted after review. Additionally, because we take this situation seriously but also recognize that there are multiple conflicts of interest within our city that have the potential to be barriers to any warranted change and/or action, we have referred this matter to the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General (OIG).


Timothy J. Jordan, President
John A. Michitson, Vice President|
Melinda E. Barrett
Joseph J. Bevilacqua
Thomas J. Sullivan
Melissa J. Lewandowski
Michael S. McGonagle
Catherine P. Rogers
Shaun P. Toohey

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