EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

July 8, 2014

Rivera fires engineer who oversaw troubled paving contract

LAWRENCE — Mayor Daniel Rivera has fired the engineer who supervised a $294,000 paving job by a company that got the work without bidding for it or signing a contract.

Rivera said his decision to replace Andrew Wall as acting chief engineer on Thursday was not related to the no-bid paving project he oversaw last summer, a job that prompted a grand jury investigation into whether former Mayor William Lantigua ordered it done to win votes in the run-up to his failed re-election bid.

Instead, Rivera said he replaced Wall because he had no hope of getting the state certification needed for a permanent appointment as chief engineer. Wall held the job in an acting capacity for three years, but failed the test for the state credential five times, the maximum allowed.

Theodoro Rosario, Rivera’s pick for the job, also does not have the state certificate, but has promised Rivera he will pass the 16-hour test for it within a year.

Rivera said yesterday he will remove him if he does not.

Besides the state certificate, the chief engineering job requires a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a closely related field and five years experience in civil engineering.

Rosario received a degree in agricultural engineering from the Universidad Federico Henriquez & Carvajal in the Dominican Republic in 2000 and a master’s degree in business administration from Phoenix University, an online school, in 2012.

Agricultural engineers design systems to produce farm products, including managing land, water, crops and livestock. Civil engineers design and oversee public works construction projects, including roads and bridges.

Rosario has not worked as an engineer in either field, but worked in the construction industry from 1998 to 2002, when he prepared estimates for services and materials for building sidewalks, stabilizing soils and other projects for a construction company in the Dominican Republic.

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