SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

November 21, 2012

Danvers selectman arraigned

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — DANVERS — Danvers Selectman Keith Lucy made a brief appearance yesterday morning in Salem District Court, where he was arraigned on an assault charge stemming from a confrontation with a Town Meeting member on the night of the primary election in September.

Lucy, 47, a town selectman since 2004, was charged following a clerk-magistrate’s hearing requested by John “Jack” Fratus, a Town Meeting member from Precinct 3.

Fratus, in a handwritten complaint, alleged that Lucy pushed in front of his wife and another woman who were looking at election results in Town Hall.

When Fratus spoke up, he said in his complaint, a “red-faced” Lucy began yelling at his wife.

Fratus said in the complaint that he responded by telling Lucy to back off and then stepped in front of Lucy “to stop him from yelling at my wife.”

He alleges that Lucy then “raised his hand to me and swung his open hand within an inch of my face,” according to the complaint. That’s the basis of the assault complaint, which a clerk-magistrate issued following a closed-door hearing last month.

A plea of not guilty was entered on Lucy’s behalf on the assault charge yesterday.

Judge Robert Brennan agreed to release Lucy on his own recognizance, under the condition that he stay away from and have no contact with Fratus while the case is pending.

Lucy is due back in court on Jan. 11 for a pretrial conference.

His lawyer, Michael Smerczynski, said outside court that he has not ruled out filing a motion to dismiss the case or a motion to “remand” the case back to a clerk for a new hearing, noting that Lucy was not represented by a lawyer during the Oct. 15 hearing and did not bring witnesses with him that day.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.