NORTH ANDOVER — The husband of School Committee chair Christine Allen confronted two members of the Board of Selectmen last night over their criticism of Allen hiring a roofing company owned by fired high school wrestling coach David Castricone, who is charged with possession of child pornography.
"I contracted a roofing company. A local roofing company. A company that to my knowledge hasn't been charged with anything," Larry Allen said during the public comment period of the board's meeting.
Larry Allen, who attended the meeting with his wife, said it was his decision to hire Castricone Roofing and Siding, which lists David Castricone as the company president, to do work on the Allen home at 3 Belmont St.
Castricone is facing two counts of possession of child pornography.
"This is my right and my responsibility," said Allen. He said said he contacted three other roofers who couldn't take the job.
Larry Allen claimed members of the Board of Selectmen attracted the attention of the news media to the hiring and that the move was politically motivated to disparage his wife.
"What are we going to do now? Pick through each other's trash?" he asked.
Board members Tracy Watson and Rosemary Smedile publicly criticized the Allens last week for hiring Castricone, who has not been convicted.
Watson and Smedile both denied planting the story.
"I deny that on my son, and how dare you come here and say that to me?" Watson yelled.
Watson further criticized the Allens.
"If you are in a bad situation, that is because yourself and Chris made a bad business decision," Watson said. "You should have put a little bit more thought into it when your wife is chairman of the School Committee," Watson continued.
Castricone resigned as the North Andover High School wrestling coach in February on the same day he was arrested on charges of possessing child pornography. Castricone is due back in Salem Superior Court Dec. 21 for a motion compliance hearing, according to Steve O'Connell, spokesman for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.
Castricone Roofing and Siding has offices in North Andover, Boxford, and Haverhill and was incorporated in Massachusetts in 1997, according to the company website. A Better Business Bureau report lists the company as having 11 employees.
Smedile said that hiring the company "sends a very mixed and complicated message" to potential victims who may want to report similar crimes. "Larry, you are a private citizen. Your wife is not," Smedile said. "We absolutely are held to a higher standard."
Meanwhile Selectman Donald Stewart last night mentioned that he has had foster children work for Castricone Roofing and Siding, and Castricone trucks are sometimes in front of his house.
"Don't bother coming after me," Stewart said.
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