Mass. Pool Inspectors’ Authority Eyed after Death

July 14, 2011

A union lawyer for two health inspectors who issued a permit for a murky Massachusetts public swimming pool where a woman’s body lay unnoticed for days says they had no authority to close the state-operated facility.

Jaime DiPaolo-Kenny spoke Tuesday after a closed fact-finding hearing on the inspectors’ role at the pool in Fall River, 50 miles south of Boston.

City lawyer Steven Torres says he’ll submit a recommendation to Mayor William Flanagan within days. Torres says the critical questions are what the inspectors’ responsibilities were and what their legal authority was.

The inspectors are on paid administrative leave.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Pool at Lafayette Park was closed after Marie Joseph’s body surfaced June 28, perhaps two days after she drowned. The death of the Newport, R.I., hotel housekeeper from Haiti was ruled an accident.

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