Selectman arraigned on assault charge

Selectman Keith Lucy was arraigned last week on a simple assault charge stemming from an alleged verbal dust-up with another elected Danvers official at Town Hall on Sept. 6.

Lucy was released on personal recognizance following the Tuesday court appearance.

Salem District Court Judge Robert Brennan warned Lucy to stay away from the alleged victim in the case, John “Jack” Fratus, who represents Precinct 3 in Town Meeting, before his next appearance in court on Jan. 11 for a pretrial hearing.


In his written complaint, Fratus alleges that he was at Town Hall with his wife, Frances, and a friend, Julie Curtis, also of Danvers, to view election results for the state primaries when ­Lucy entered and “pushed in front of Julie Curtis.”

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Fratus alleges that when his wife confronted Lucy about his manners, he began yelling at her.

“He was red in the face and looked angry,” Fratus wrote in the complaint. “He took a step towards my wife while screaming at her.”

Fratus says that he stepped in front of Lucy and told him multiple times to “back off my wife.”

He also states that Lucy told all three of them to “never speak to me again for the rest of your lives,” and swung an open palm “within an inch” of his face before leaving Town Hall.


Police did not get involved on the night of the incident and Lucy was not arrested.

Simple assault is defined as placing a person in fear without physical contact, according to David Sweeney, first assistant clerk-magistrate at Salem District Court.

The complaint led to a closed clerk-magistrate’s hearing on Oct. 15, after which the clerk-magistrate decided there was enough probable cause to summons Lucy and pursue the matter in court.

At the hearing, Fratus was accompanied by his wife and Curtis, as well as his lawyer, John Slattery of Peabody.

Lucy appeared alone; he and his lawyer, Michael T. Smerczynski of Peabody, had no comment following the short court appearance, and Lucy has repeatedly declined to speak about the case since it came to light in October that Fratus had lodged a complaint against Lucy five days after the alleged incident.


Fratus and Slattery were not in the courtroom for Lucy’s arraignment last week.

Multiple attempts to reach Slattery, who was a candidate in the Democratic primary for state Senate in the Second Essex District, but lost to Joan Lovely on Sept. 6, the night of the incident, have been unsuccessful.

Lucy has been a selectman since 2004, and Fratus served on the Finance Committee between his first term as a Town Meeting member and his current stint representing Precinct 3.

Both have terms set to expire on May 7, 2013.  

Several calls to Town Manager Wayne Marquis have not been returned, and it is unclear whether he was in the building at the time of the alleged incident.

Ryan Mooney can be reached at