Recent Event Highlights: Fall River officials eye restructuring oversight of pool inspections, and 12 more...
Created by willmcguinness on Jul 1, 2011
Last updated: 10/03/11 at 05:04 PM
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The Department of Conservation and Recreation announces it will not reopen Lafayette Pool during summer 2011 but will bus area swimmers to Westport's Horseneck Beach, which is also run by DCR.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation said three employees must resign and Marie Joseph's death was due to poor water clarity. The department said the pool should not have opened.
For the city, the primary question of the investigation is how to make sure city residents are safe when they use the state-run pool at Lafayette Park, Mayor William Flanagan said.
It could change how the city handles pool inspections in the future, Flanagan said.
“Our internal investigation was launched for a reason,” Flanagan said. “After it, we’ll look at the findings. We are looking at overall public safety in this.”
City officials are restricting their comments on the investigation because two city inspectors are on paid administrative leave while facing internal disciplinary charges in the case.
Lisa Golden and Roger Casavant, both veteran sanitary inspectors, appeared in closed disciplinary hearings Tuesday to explain what happened at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Pool on June 28 — and how they approved a pool for use when it had a dead body on the bottom.
A steady stream of mourners filed into Silva-Faria Funeral Home on Monday night to pay their respects to the family of Marie Joseph, the 36-year old Fall River woman who accidentally drowned at the Lafayette Park pool last month.
Elba Saldivar knew Joseph for four years and she was her best friend. Joseph was a frequent Sunday dinner guest at Saldivar’s house, and she became close to Saldivar's three children, often serving as their babysitter.
Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan orders all public and seim-public pools in Fall River to be reinspected.
Two city inspectors are placed on paid administrative leave by Fall River Mayor William A. Flanagan. Police lead an investigation to try to determine what happened, including the review of video surveillance tapes. Until later in the day, officials hesitate to suggest that Marie Joseph was in Lafayette pool but bring in a state health inspector to explain that if she were, the decomposing body posed no health risks to swimmers on Monday and Tuesday.
5:30 p.m. — State recreation officials close all 24 of the department’s deep-water pools across Massachusetts to “conduct a full review of each facility’s safety and operational procedures,” according to DCR Commissioner Edward M. Lambert Jr.
Inspectors give the pool a clean bill of health, noting pH, chlorine and pump pressure levels as regular. The inspector noted, however, that the pool water was cloudy. It is believed, now, that Marie Joseph was on the pool's bottom.
Tuesday, June 28, 4 p.m. — The pool closes early.
The body of Marie Joseph is found floating in the pool by a group in their late teens or early 20s who scaled the fence hoping to swim after-hours. They call the police.
Fall River health inspectors note that Lafayette Pool is open without the necessary permit and inspection. (The image related to this note was taken Saturday.)
Just before noon, Marie Joseph and her neighbors drive to Lafeyette pool on Eastern Avenue. The driver, Veronica Reis, leaves to finish errands.
Joseph and a neighborhood boy, 9, slide down the pool slide into water 12 feet deep. It's unclear if Joseph knew how to swim, but she did not surface.
Lafayette pool opens on Saturday but without the municipal permit required, which had expired December 31, 2010.