Haverhill Council to Hear Open Meeting Law Complaint Related to Wood Background Check Dispute

Haverhill City Counci President Timothy J. Jordan. (WHAV News file photograph by Jay Saulnier.)

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Haverhill city councilors will bring additional attention to mayoral candidate and School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr. tonight when they hear an open meeting law complaint.

As WHAV reported July 11, the complaint centers on councilors asking, outside of a posted public meeting, for release of investigative reports related to Wood’s applications to be a Haverhill police officer. Valley Patriot Publisher Tom Duggan filed his protest after Wood failed to follow through with a complaint of his own after pledging to do so on Duggan’s Paying Attention podcast June 22. Haverhill City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. advised councilors in a July 20 letter to put the item on its agenda.

“If the Council feels there is a possibility that there may have been a violation of the open meeting law, or the appearance of one, you should take appropriate remedial action—i.e., take the matter up in open session, discuss and take action as the Council deems appropriate,” he wrote.

Council President Timothy J. Jordan followed through by placing the complaint on the agenda as well as a separate item to discuss the original letter.

“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,” the letter opens. It was signed by all nine members.

The Haverhill City Council meets tonight at 7, remotely and in-person at the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, room 202, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St., As a public service, 97.9 WHAV plans to carry the meeting live.

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