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Fitchburg Homeless Shelter Director Placed On Leave Following Misconduct Allegations

Director of Homeless Services Kevin MacLean speaks with a guest checking in to Our Father’s House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Director of Homeless Services Kevin MacLean speaks with a guest checking in to Our Father’s House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

One of the heads of an emergency homeless shelter in Fitchburg has been placed on leave over allegations of abuse.

The shelter, Our Father's House, on Friday said it had placed Director of Homeless Services Kevin MacLean on paid administrative leave pending an independent investigation into "serious allegations of misconduct."

Judith Nest-Pasierb, executive director of Our Father's House, said the organization has retained an outside attorney and is interviewing outside investigators.

The move comes more than six weeks after advocates spoke at a Fitchburg Human Rights Commission meeting about alleged mistreatment of shelter guests by MacLean.

MacLean declined to comment.

Fitchburg Police confirmed they launched an investigation into MacLean after allegations were made at a Jan. 12 meeting.

During the meeting, advocates and mental health providers who work with people experiencing homelessness said that shelter guests have alleged MacLean has physically and sexually assaulted them, according to a GBH report.

"They said this had been going on for several years," Fitchburg Police Chief Ernest Martineau, who attended the virtual commission meeting, told WBUR. "We launched an investigation because alleged criminal activity had taken place."

The shelter is the only such facility in the Fitchburg area. It serves both men and women experiencing homelessness.

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Lynn Jolicoeur is the field producer for WBUR's All Things Considered. She also reports for the station's various local news broadcasts.

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