Former Fox News Staff Back Sen. DiZoglio in Non-Disclosure Case; DiZoglio and Speaker DeLeo Spar

Two former Fox News personalities who sued the network’s then-CEO for sexual harassment added their voices Monday to state Sen. Diana DiZoglio’s push to restrict the use of non-disclosure agreements on Beacon Hill. DiZoglio, who during a debate on sexual harassment policies in 2018 broke the non-disclosure agreement she’d signed when fired from a job as a House aide years earlier, filed a bill this session that would ban the use of public funds for “silencing the complainant or concealing the details related to claims of sexual harassment or assault.”

“You should not be able to purchase somebody’s silence, to be able to move from one victim to the next,” DiZoglio said at a press conference where she urged the Judiciary Committee to endorse and advance the bill ahead of a Feb. 5 deadline. DiZoglio was critical of Speaker Robert DeLeo over the incident. Offering a message to her fellow legislators Monday, she said, “Your speaker lied to you and put you in a very bad position, both by unequivocally denying that he has given out NDAs for anything related to sexual harassment, when I have one from his office and my circumstances were widely publicized leading up to my wrongful termination, and also by exploiting victims’ need for confidentiality, to convince you, during a rushed and emotional debate, to allow these agreements to continue to be used by his office and elsewhere in our government.”

DeLeo’s office responded to DiZoglio’s remarks with a lengthy statement describing the process leading up to DiZoglio’s agreement and the new House rule around NDAs.

Today’s Obituaries—Jan. 27: Gagnon, Habib, Jones

Robert H. Gagnon, 83, a resident of Plaistow, N.H., for the last 53 years, died Jan. 23, at Exeter Hospital. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in November of 1956, and served honorably until his discharge in 1960 as a CT-3. He was first employed as a manager for Vernon Plastics and later established his own business, New England Lamprint of Lowell, which he owned and operated for several years. He earned a real estate license and also operated Gagnon Real Estate in Plaistow for many years.

Haverhill Public Meetings: LePage Wants to Know How Many Downtown Parking Spaces Are Left

The public has opportunities to shape policy this week as various Haverhill boards meet. In the interest of transparency in government, WHAV provides this list of upcoming meetings every week. Councilor Colin F. LePage wants to know how many spaces are actually left in downtown Haverhill garages and parking lots after they were rented to housing developments. LePage also wants to know the financial solvency of the program, existing and future parking space capacity and boundaries of the district, and the different regulations applied along Merrimack and Washington Streets. The Council meets Tuesday, Jan.

School Committee Learns How Haverhill High’s Vocational-Technical Programs Provide Leg-Up

Haverhill High School’s vocational-technical programs are helping students hoping to find work in technology industries. That’s the assessment of the Vocational Technical Advisory Board which spoke before the School Committee last week. Board member Victoria Kelley says the five-year-old program, covers healthcare, IT and programming and web development, areas that have a growing need for trained personnel. Tara Campbell of the Advisory Committee on Health Care Occupation explains how the programs are giving students a leg up. “A lot of these students that are in the Health Care Occupations Program have an advantage when applying to college.

Harvard’s Levitsky Discusses ‘How Democracies Die’ at Haverhill Talk Feb. 8

Harvard University Professor of Government Steven Levitsky at Harvard University is coming to Haverhill Feb. 8 to discuss his book, “How Democracies Die.”

Levistsky, who co-wrote the book with Harvard’s Eaton Professor of the Science of Government Daniel Ziblatt, says democracy in the 21st century is threatened like never before. He uses lessons from history including Pinochet’s murderous Chilean regime to Erdogan’s quiet dismantling in Turkey. The free public talk takes place Saturday, Feb. 8, from 1-3 p.m., at the Universalist Unitarian Church, Kenoza Avenue.

Expect Delays Tuesday, Wednesday as Left Southbound Lane on I-495 Closes

Watch for delays as a single left lane on I-495 south is expected to be closed during the day Tuesday and Wednesday. The state Department of Transportation says the left lane in Haverhill between exits 49 and 50 will be closed both days, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to make repairs to the highway barrier. The bridge project is currently in the second of four stages. By August, officials expect to complete a crossover from the southbound lanes onto the by then completed extra wide northbound bridge. A new southbound bridge will be completed during the final project stage.

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission Formally Appoints Park as Executive Director

As expected, the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission has appointed Theresa Park, of Lowell, as its new executive director. Park joins the Haverhill-based Commission with 27 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Currently, she works as the director of Lawrence’s Office of Planning and Development, where she manages all matters related to planning, development and permitting. Those duties include community development, economic development, inspectional services, land use and development and planning long-range capital and infrastructure projects. The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission contracted with Community Paradigm Associates and its principal, former Lowell City Manager Bernard F. Lynch, to search for and recruit candidates for the position.

Thursday’s Obituaries- Jan. 24: German, Giang

Priscilla S. (Shennett) German, 86, of Haverhill, died Jan. 22, at Hannah Duston Healthcare in Haverhill with her family by her side. Born in Amesbury, she was the daughter of the late Melborne “Dutchy” and Roseanna (Thivige) Shennett. Raised and educated in Amesbury, she was a graduate of Amesbury High School, class of 1951. She was employed for 31 years as an auditor with the former Western Electric and the former AT&T, later becoming Lucent Technologies.