ANDOVER – 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 “wish to protect me 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 moved forward by reporting this to the proper authorities,” Namvar wrote in his letter. “This report and other findings resulted in the dismissal of this employee. As supposed, this eminent employee launched an attack squad and used the same people to portray me, and unfortunately this young lady.
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 for the organization and the community. While here, Soap referred more people to Resources than any city in the state besides Boston. It will be difficult to replace, ”said Flanagan.
Keefe added that the police department would 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. The police department planned to post the community support coordinator position after Labor Day, Keefe said.