Accused of sexual harassment, Everett School Superintendent retires

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Everett Public Schools Superintendent Frederick F. Foresteire, who was placed on paid administrative leave on Monday pending an investigation into sexual harassment allegations, has informed the School Committee that he is retiring, the city said Thursday night.

Foresteire disclosed his decision to School Committee chairman Berardino D’Onofrio in a letter dated Monday — the same day the panel announced it was placing him on leave and setting aside $50,000 to investigate the accusations.

In the two-sentence letter, Foresteire, 75, said his retirement took effect at the end of the day on Tuesday. He has led the school system since 1989.

“It has been a wonderful fifty-two and one half years!” Foresteire wrote.

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He earned $230,580 annually and was working on a six-year contract that was due to expire in June 2021, the city said.

The School Committee has tapped Janice M. Gauthier, the district’s director of curriculum, to assume the role of interim superintendent.

A time stamp indicates Everett officials received Foresteire’s retirement letter on Thursday. He didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Thursday night.

Attorney Tara Swartz, who represents two women who have filed complaints against Foresteire with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, said Thursday night that her clients were elated that the superintendent had retired.

“They feel this is a positive first step to real change within the Everett Public School system,” she said in an e-mail.

Earlier Thursday, the office of Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. said it had received reports that Foresteire had attended two school events since being placed on leave.

One was a winter concert held Tuesday evening at the high school, the city said. The concert was conducted in a performing arts center named for Foresteire.

The other event occurred Wednesday when the high school hosted a gathering for senior Mike Sainristil, who signed a national letter of intent to play football at the University of Michigan.

DeMaria objected to Foresteire attending the events, said spokesman Tom Philbin.

“It’s the mayor’s position that he should not be on school property or allowed in the building while on administrative leave,” he said.

Philbin declined to comment Thursday night about Foresteire’s retirement.

The state’s antidiscrimination commission has said it cannot discuss the investigations into Foresteire.

Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com.

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