Everett School Committee members responded this week to allegations made against several of their members by Alderman Joseph McGonagle and Aldermen President Sal Sachetta during last week’s Aldermen’s meeting.
In short, the School Committee members deny the incident took place as described by Alderman Sachetta and indicated their belief that the incident was turned into political fodder by the Aldermen to distract from their joint decision to vote against a pay increase for School Committee members.
McGonagle, who based his statements on a letter that was authored by Sachetta to Police Chief Steven Mazzie about the events following a May 29 Finance Committee meeting at City Hall, has admitted that he was not present during the alleged incident in the parking lot at City Hall.
In his letter to the Police Chief, Sachetta said that members of the School Committee “were waiting for me at my car,” when he was confronted by several school committee members who he said were upset that he was planning to vote against the pay increase.
In their rebuttal to the police chief, the School Committee members who were present on the evening of May 29, said that “everything Sal wrote can be refuted.”
According to the School Committee letter, which was signed by seven members of the School Committee including six who said they were there, the committee members were not waiting for Sachetta after the Finance Committee meeting, but were simply “chatting about personal and family matters in a spot near our cars.” The letter goes on to say that “Sal initiated the conversation, not vice versa. . .Sal delayed us. We didn’t bring up salaries; Sal did.”
School Committee member Bernie D’Onofrio added during Monday night’s School Committee meeting that Sachetta in his letter to the Chief had “named names” including D’Onofrio’s and then said that he was in fact not even at the Finance Committee meeting.
“I think (Alderman) Sachetta was confused, as evidenced by the fact that he identified me as having been there and I clearly was not,” said D’Onofrio.
School Committee members each declined to make further comment about the alleged incident, Sachetta’s claims or their own rebuttal after Monday night’s School Committee meeting.