In remarks at a Revere City Council meeting Monday night, Mayor Brian Arrigo assured residents that the Revere Recreation Department offers a safe environment for children.
Arrigo’s speech came in response to a motion by Councillor-at-Large Dan Rizzo that “the Mayor appear before the City Council in Executive Session for the purpose of discussing the consideration of filing criminal complaints relative to pornographic materials being brought into the Youth Center by a city employee.”
A pornographic video had been found among a large quantity of digital video discs that a person had donated to the Recreation Department.
“I want to start by assuring our residents that the Recreation Department is a safe place for everyone,” to spend their time,” began Arrigo. “The review by both the Human Resources Department and the Revere Police Department has shown that there has been no evidence of any wrongdoing by anyone.”
In a separate interview, Police Chief James Guido also affirmed that there was no wrongdoing.
“After a two-day investigation conducted by the Revere Police Detective Bureau, there is no evidence of any wrongdoing at the Rec Department,” said Guido. “It appears to be an innocent mistake that was immediately addressed, and no children, no parents, no one was exposed to the video in question, and this matter has been resolved appropriately.”
Arrigo said he was proud of the overall programming at the Recreation Department and told the Council that his administration’s first priority “is a safe and secure city for all of our residents.”
The mayor said it was “extremely unfortunate” that the city’s reputation was called in to question prematurely by the incident.
“I agree with those city councillors who have voiced a concern about how this got on the Council agenda, how this got in to the Boston Globe, how this got on WBZ, without verifying facts,” said Arrigo. “This type of accusation strips away all of the good work that the Recreation Department does and unnecessarily causes parents to hesitate sending their child to the great programming that happens at the Rec Center. We, as elected officials, have to be mindful of the repercussions of our actions.”
Arrigo said he plans on visiting with parents at the Recreation Department to inform them how committed the city is “to their child’s well-being and answer any lingering questions or concerns they may have.”