Tension renewed in Holyoke over a firefighter’s promotion

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Some Holyoke residents are calling for Firefighter Timothy Leary’s promotion to be reversed.

Last year, 22News showed you video of Leary using racially offensive terms to describe Holyoke City Councilor Anthony Soto.

Tuesday night, a group of residents filed a petition to the Holyoke City Council, demanding a full review of the hiring process that promoted Leary to Provisional Lieutenant.

According to Darlene Elias of Holyoke, “Despite what situation you’re in, whether you’re in crisis, or your life is at risk, being threatened, you don’t want to be afraid who it is that’s coming out to rescue you.”

Petitioners said the Fire Commission that promoted Leary is not a diverse board; however, Commissioner Yasser Menwer’s wife, Ashley Menwer, disagrees. “My son obviously is a mix of both of us, being white, being Middle Eastern and also being Latino. Nobody in the department has ever been discriminated upon or likewise.”

Petitioners said they collected more than 200 signatures to submit to the Holyoke City Council. In Holyoke, the Fire Commission handles all hiring matters, and the Mayor appoints the commissioners.

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