Probe involving BerkshireWorks director likely to take ‘weeks’
PITTSFIELD -- Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi said he expects it will take a "couple of weeks" to conclude the city’s investigation into the employment situation involving the executive director of the BerkshireWorks Career Center, William Monterosso.
Monterosso, who was hired in January, was put on paid administrative leave by the city about a month ago.
Although BerkshireWorks is a quasi-public agency, Monterosso is a city employee. The mayor of Pittsfield is the appointing authority for the executive director’s position by virtue of being the leading elected official of the county’s largest municipality.
Bianchi has declined to comment on the situation involving Monterosso because it is a personnel matter. On Thursday, Bianchi said that last week he hoped the situation would be "wrapped up pretty quickly," then added, "these things take time."
He declined to say exactly what the city still needs to determine.
"We want to do a thorough, responsible job," Bianchi said.
The decision to temporarily remove Monterosso hasn’t affected the employment and job-training programs offered at the career center on 160 North St.
But the city’s role in the matter is beginning to receive some attention at the state level.
"It’s our understanding that there is an investigation underway by the city’s human resources department," said Ann Dufresne, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
"As soon as we are apprised of the results of that investigation, we will take any appropriate action as is necessary," she said.
Seven of the roughly 20 employees at BerkshireWorks are employed by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, according to Dufresne. She said the state probably would not take formal action based on the results of the city’s investigation, but could make "announcements" or "assurances" to the employees it does supervise based on how the matter is decided.
"It could run the gamut," she said.
Dufresne said she could not be more specific.
"I don’t know the nature of the investigation," she said. "We know it’s an investigation into a personnel matter. That’s why we said it could run the gamut. We just don’t know."
Asked if the state was surprised that the city’s investigation was taking so long, Dufresne said, "the city is the one that is ascertaining all the facts."
"I don’t think you can characterize the investigation by the length of time that it is taking," she said. "I think the city is being very thorough."
Monterosso’s voice is still on the executive director’s voice mail at the BerkshireWorks Career Center.
Reached by telephone on Wednesday, Monterosso referred inquires to his attorney, Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr. of Pittsfield. Citing the ethics of law pertaining to the representation of his client, Nuciforo said he couldn’t discuss the matter.
A Pittsfield native, Monterosso has 15 years of previous experience in the workforce development field, most recently serving as the executive director of the West Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.
BerkshireWorks is a quasi-public agency chartered by the Berkshire Regional Employment Board to provide job training, planning and assistance to county residents.
The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development operates 33 such agencies across the state, but a handful of these career centers, including BerkshireWorks, are nonprofits, which means the state is not involved in personnel matters, including the hiring of the executive directors.
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