After more than a half-century, suspended Supt. Fred Foresteire has suddenly retired from his post at the Everett Public Schools as he faces sexual harassment claims by at least two women.
In a two-sentence letter to School Committee Chair Bernie D’Onofrio, Foresteire informed him that he would be retiring by the end of the day on Dec. 18.
“This letter is to inform you I am retiring at the end of the day, Tuesday, December 18, 2018,” he wrote. “It has been a wonderful fifty-two and one half years!”
The announcement came rather suddenly, but Foresteire has been under fire for the last two weeks, having been put on administrative leave last Monday, Dec. 17. Nearly two weeks prior to that, an allegation emerged at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). Former Payroll Clerk Andrea Garay, of Everett, had authored the complaint on Nov. 21, alleging several types of sexual and racial harassment against her in the two years she worked at the School Department.
Last week, Boston Attorney Tara Swartz confirmed that a second MCAD sexual harassment claim had been filed by her client. She also represents Garay.
In a statement, Swartz said her clients were happy to hear of the retirement, as it represented forward motion.
“My clients are elated to hear of Superintendent Foresteire’s retirement,” read the statement. “They feel this is a positive first step to real change within the Everett Public School system.”
Iliana Panameno and the Everett Education Coalition (EEC) said they echoed that sentiment.
“We echo the sentiments of Attorney Tara Swartz’ clients…that ‘this is the first positive step to real change within the Everett Public School system,’” said Panameno. “We affirm their courage in coming forward and breaking their silence in a climate of fear and intense pressure. In the coming weeks, we look forward to working with the School Committee to define the scope of the independent investigation into Mr. Foresteire and the administration of the Everett Public Schools.”
Oddly enough, Foresteire’s retirement letter was dated Dec. 17, the same day he was put on leave. However, that letter seemed to hang in limbo somewhere as it wasn’t received at City Hall until Thursday night.
The date/time stamp shows it came in at 7:26 p.m. on Dec. 20.
It was reported by sources that former Mayor David Ragucci, now an assistant city clerk, took the letter in and stamped it.