SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 30, 2012

Danvers fire chief back on the job

DANVERS — Fire Chief Kevin Farrell returned to work Sunday, four months after he was placed on leave following his arrest on domestic assault charges at the home of his estranged wife.

Farrell, 48, jumped back into the job in time to help with emergency planning as Hurricane Sandy barreled up the East Coast.

“I might as well get both feet wet,” he said yesterday.

Town Manager Wayne Marquis reinstated Farrell after he was medically cleared to return to duty, after a brief stay at a residential treatment program followed by counseling. The charges against him were dismissed by a judge in September after Farrell’s wife refused to testify.

“Kevin has worked hard to address the personal and health-related issues which have kept him off the job since late June,” Marquis said in a statement.

Farrell, who earns $104,000, was placed on paid administrative leave shortly after Groveland police arrested him following an incident at the home of his estranged wife on the evening of June 26. Marquis then placed Farrell on sick leave sometime in July.

The 27-year Danvers firefighter had been suffering the effects of both personal and professional stress, his defense attorney, Benjamin Richard, told the courts at the time, suggesting that his case would be best dealt with “through mental health treatment and counseling.”

“He has gone through a process as far as medical treatment,” Marquis said yesterday. “He’s fully cleared, and we are glad he’s back.”

“I’m just happy to be back,” said Farrell, who said he looks forward to doing the job for which he has trained for much of his life. Farrell said he worked hard to become the town’s fire chief and said if he caused the department any embarrassment, he plans to work “doubly hard” to erase that image.

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