Opioid scandal rocks North Reading public works

 Andy Rosen GLOBE STAFF  MARCH 09, 2016

The head of the North Reading Department of Public Works has resigned, local officials said Wednesday, as the town seeks to get a grip on a prescription opioid scandal in the department.

Public Works Director Richard Carnevale has not been implicated in the case, Town Administrator Michael P. Gilleberto said, but he said he had accepted Carnevale’s resignation.

The investigation led to the arrests last week of a suspected drug dealer and a DPW employee who has been accused of possessing Oxycodone and taking part in a drug conspiracy. That employee, Scott McDonough, and six others have been placed on administrative leave, officials said.

Two other DPW employees also resigned this week, Gilleberto said.

“The citizens of North Reading rightly expect to have a functional and trustworthy Department of Public Works, and we are working to ensure just that,” he said in a statement.

 

Gilleberto said the town is conducting “an external administrative investigation to assist us in determining the extent of this problem and to aid the town in taking swift and decisive actions going forward.”

That investigation is separate from an ongoing criminal probe by the North Reading Police Department.

Last Friday, 56-year-old John McNeil of North Reading was arrested and charged with possession of drugs including Oxycodone and marijuana with intent to distribute. McDonough, 42, a DPW employee who lives in Methuen, was also arrested.

Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andyrosen.

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