— Eye on Everett —

Many believe Abruzzese should Resign

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By Josh Resnek

As soon as School Committee Chair Thomas Abruzzese finished with the last breaths and threatening words of his agonizingly angry and outrageous threat for everyone to either join him or they should resign, e-mails, and texts erupted in an electronic flurry around the city.

Within two hours of his explosion, recorded for posterity like a stunning piece of cinema veritas (a movie that tells an absolute truth), and mounted for all to watch and listen to on the Everett Schools website, the city was abuzz with school administrators, teachers, parents and residents, all discussing the incident.

When I write the city was abuzz- it wasn’t the whole city and everybody in it, but rather, several thousands of men and women trading e-mails, and texts about the disintegration before their eyes of a man who perceives himself as one of the city’s most influential leaders.

Doesn’t happen everyday but it certainly did on Monday night. What set off Abruzzese?

It is hard exactly to know.

What is known from watching his performance is that his anger appeared to rise to a threatening, potentially dangerous level and that many of his colleagues too scared to confront him remained utterly quiet in the face of his diatribe against everyone questioning his method of choice for the new superintendent pick, which he believes is to be his and his alone – if we are to believe his threats.

Everyone considered to be part of the selection process heard his across the board edict: “I’m telling everyone to choose a side.”

No one serving with this man dared to say a word. Such is political life in Everett on the school committee with Abruzzese.

The same can be said of most councilors who follow the mayor’s orders and vote as he asks so as not to inspire his wrath.

This is a city with leaders who cause their colleagues to always be looking over their shoulders and to keep their mouths shut tightly or face the consequences.

If you don’t think the same as the mayor or as Abruzzese you need to be whipped into shape.

That’s how democracy works at its highest level in this city.

Abruzzese warned everyone about: “miserable petty people holding grudges” and “of certain powerful peoples’ unhappiness” … “who read that rag and all the lies being told.”

I wonder what lies Abruzzese was so angry about that have appeared in the Leader Herald.

Did I lie about his son recently being arrested on a domestic violence charge and spending a night in jail and then being released after appearing in the Malden Court the next morning and then appearing for work at the English School like it was just another day?

No I didn’t.

Did I lie about school department officials trying to hush it up for one of their own by transferring him to the Parlin School rather than suspending him as is required?

That happened only after the Leader Herald made the suggestion that common sense be used in this case to protect the public’s safety and that of the school children.

Was that a lie?

No it wasn’t.

Abruzzese said his name had been trashed and his family’s name had also been trashed and then he concocted a hard to believe story about a grandchild being drawn into an incident that baffled nearly everyone he knows.

What will the three finalists for the Superintendent’s post think about Abruzzese’s eruption and his threats and these comments? Have they been made to understand that running the Everett Public Schools requires unequivocal and unending support for Tom Abruzzese?

It will be difficult for certain members of the district to work with Mr. Abruzzese in the future. He negotiates contracts, considers sensitive issues in executive sessions, and has great sway as chairman of both the superintendent’s search committee and the Committee as a whole. Who’s going to feel comfortable speaking their mind in front of him?

No one.

That’s why he needs to resign in order for dignity and doing what is right controls the school environment and the superintendent choice process than anger and threats.

Like many big feeling public officials who lose their way, Abruzzese is lost in a sea of personal anger without an ounce of remorse or even a half- hearted apology for his son’s behavior.

His outburst and threats scared people Monday night.

He’s a lawyer. He should know better than to act this way. Redemption would be the way to go for Abruzzese.

An apology for very bad behavior in public might be a decent start. Otherwise, he should do the right thing.


Either that or go on calling this newspaper a rag and me a liar while pretending to be a fair and impartial voice for choosing the next superintendent of schools.

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