School Department Serves No Trespass Order to Committee Member-Elect
NEW BEDFORD - Newly elected New Bedford School Committee member John Oliveira has been served with a no trespass order after appearing for a meeting with Superintendent Dr. Pia Durkin in her office.
Oliveira tells WBSM News he went to the New Bedford School Department's Administrative Offices on County Street on Wednesday for what he thought would be a one on one meeting with Dr. Durkin. Oliveira says he had a 4:30 appointment with Durkin. When he arrived, he was surprised to see Deputy School Chief Jason DeFalco also in attendance.
In a Facebook post, Oliveira says he asked DeFalco to leave the meeting. When DeFalco and Durkin refused his request, Oliveira says he called DeFalco a "minion." Oliveira says he then turned his remarks to Durkin and "let her have it."
Oliveira says DeFalco proceeded to call the police to have him removed. Oliveira says he left on his own.
He returned to Durkin's office Thursday morning to "reach out to her one more time." After another heated back and forth with administrative staff, police were once called to escort Oliveira off of the premises.
Oliveira has been served with a no trespass order, which says Oliveira "may not appear on any property that is owned or occupied by the New Bedford Public Schools at any time unless officially summoned by a school official." The order has no end date.
Oliveira is one of the newest member-elects of the New Bedford School Committee, along with Colleen Dawicki, and is to be sworn in this coming January.
Speaking with WBSM News, Oliveira says he was disappointed with Wednesday's events.
"It's unfortunate that she (Durkin) felt that she had to resort to those means," said Oliveira.
Oliveira says he will be seeking an attorney to dismiss the no trespass order on his behalf.
WBSM News reached out to Superintendent Durkin's office for comment and received the following statement:
“We issued a No Trespass Order on Mr. John Oliveira for a variety of significant safety issues. Anytime the well-being of our staff is compromised, regardless of who the individual is, the proper steps must be taken to restore a strong sense of personal security to our staff. Please be advised that several front office staff members expressed their level of discomfort and concerns for their personal safety due to Mr. Oliveira’s behavior both yesterday and this morning.”