Public works director resigns amid drug investigation in North Reading

Drugs, paraphernalia and cash were allegedly found in John McNeil’s home. North Reading Police

A “wide-ranging’’ drug investigation into the North Reading Department of Public Works has led to the resignation of the director and the arrest of one employee, police said.

The case began with an investigation into John McNeil, 56, who is accused of dealing opioids and other drugs, police said. He was charged with conspiracy, three counts of drug posssession, and two counts of drug possession with the intent to distribute, police said.

In addition, North Reading DPW employee Scott McDonough, 42, of Methuen, was arrested on Friday and charged with conspiracy and illegal possession of oxycodone.

Along with the police investigation, the town of North Reading initiated its own investigation of the department. Six other DPW employees have been placed on administrative leave, and two other employees have resigned, according to North Reading Town Administrator Michael P. Gilleberto.


Public Works Director Richard Carnevale, who is not implicated in the criminal investigation, has resigned, too, Gilleberto said.

“The Town of North Reading is also conducting an external administrative investigation to assist us in determining the extent of this problem and to aid the Town in taking swift and decisive actions going forward,’’ Gilleberto said. “The citizens of North Reading rightly expect to have a functional and trustworthy Department of Public Works, and we are working to ensure just that.’’

Both McNeil and McDonough were arraigned on Monday in Woburn District Court, The Boston Globe reports, and both were released on cash bail.


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