An Andover official has resigned after being the victim of racist comments and threats against his family in recent months, he said in his resignation letter.
Sobhan “Soap” Namvar, the former community support coordinator for the police department, resigned his post on August 5.
In his resignation letter to Director General Andrew Flanagan and Police Chief Patrick Keefe, Namvar cited “personal attacks on my culture and religion” and a “wanting to protect myself and my family from further slander”.
It was not his first resignation because of these comments.
Last year, he stepped down as head of the city’s MISCELLANEOUS division, a group designed to improve diversity and inclusion in the city, due to similar behavior, he said.
“If I’m not the right person then all the better, let me not continue to be part of the problem, be in an argument and fight with people who justify why I have to be in this role.” he said at the time, carrying the same sentiment in his latest resignation letter.
Namvar – who was a commissioned abuse reporter as a licensed social worker – received and reported a 26-year-old woman’s abuse charge against former director of youth services Bill Fahey. Namvar’s observations were also heavily cited in a report documenting an investigation into Fahey’s larger conduct. The city fired Fahey on May 10. “It didn’t matter who the employee was, and what role (sic.) He had in the community, and the possible backlash this young woman and I would receive, I went ahead and reported it to the proper authorities,” Namvar wrote in his letter. ”This report, along with other findings, led to the dismissal of this employee. As supposed, this prominent employee launched an attack squad and used the same people to distort me, and unfortunately this young woman. “
Flanagan and Keefe both said they were saddened by the resignation, but agreed that Namvar must do whatever he deems necessary.
“Soap is a huge loss to the organization and the community. During his time here, Soap referred more people to Resources than any other city in the state besides Boston. He will be difficult to replace,” said Flanagan.
Keefe added that the police department will support the next person to take the job.
Now Andover officials are once again scrambling to hire a director of diversity, equity and inclusion – the post Namvar resigned last year. In addition, the police department will post the community support coordinator position after Labor Day, Keefe said.