, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 6, 2013

Former sewer boss not guilty of assault

Judge rules Knowles acted in self-defense


Weaver wrote that based on the trial testimony, bad feelings between the two men began prior to the April 19 incident when Knowles overheard Maltais make a disrespectful remark after the former sewer superintendent reprimanded him and another sewer department worker.

Charges against Knowles were initially dropped because Maltais was away for six months and unable to testify. However, prosecutor Scott Mendes re-instated the charges in July following Maltais’ return.

A day after the alleged incident, Knowles was placed on paid administrative leave by then-Town Manager Barry Brenner. Knowles, a 39-year veteran town employee, earned a salary of $68,608 in 2011, according to the town report. In August 2012, however, Interim Town Manager Joseph Titone announced Knowles no longer worked for the town, without citing why.

Knowles and Titone could not be reached for comment on the verdict and its ramifications.

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