New Fire Commissioner appointed

WESTFIELD- The Westfield City Council appointed Jeffrey Siegel Monday evening to fill the vacant seat on the Fire Commission left by Patrick Olearcek, who stepped down from the commission earlier this month.

Siegel was nominated by Mayor Brian Sullivan because the Mayor wanted someone with a similar expertise to Olearcek, who also practices law, to fill the seat. Mayor Sullivan said that Olearcek left his seat so that he may focus on his current full-time position. Sullivan said that he hopes Siegel will be able to “right the ship” in regard to the legal turmoil faced by the Fire Commission. After the Mayor’s nomination, a vote took place in the Personnel Action Committee to put a final vote before the City Council. The three-person committee voted unanimously to allow for the City Council vote.

The commission currently faces a legal challenge from within by firefighter Kyle Miltimore and Captain Rebecca Boutin who say the commission attempted to fire them for cooperating with State Police in a sexual assault claim. The lawsuit names Commission Chair Albert Masciadrelli, and former commission members Patrick Olearcek and Carlo Bonavita, who left the commission earlier this year.

Siegel brings a lengthy resume to the Fire Commission. He is currently the Vice President of Legal Affairs at United Bank and has been since 2013.

“He has over 30 years of experience, in security, compliance, and legal matters,” said City Councilor Cindy Harris, “In addition he is, or has been, an adjunct faculty or lecturer for Clark University, Westfield State University, American International College, University of Phoenix, University of Hartford, Yale, and others.”

In addition, Siegel is admitted to the Massachusetts and Connecticut Bar Association and is admitted to practice before the U.S. tax court and the Supreme Court. He once worked for the United Wealth Management Group as the Vice President of Financial and Legal Planning. Before that, he was the Vice President Trust Officer for Bank of America in Springfield. His experience in law, taxation, and finance goes back nearly 30 years.

Although his name will not be listed on the lawsuit against the commission, he may be able to provide input to help keep the commission and Fire Department within the law as they navigate the situation. Boutin and Miltimore both claim harassment from in the department as well as their attempted firing by the Fire Commission. They both made a similar claim of discovering pictures in a public area of the fire station depicting themselves as decapitated. A judge in Springfield blocked their termination and the commission was later fined for taking related actions in an executive session in violation of open meeting law.

Siegel’s first appearance with the rest of the commission will likely take place on Monday, May 6th during the next regularly scheduled commission meeting at the Little River Fire station.

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