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Longtime Judge Selected to Lead School’s Investigation into Drowning Death


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Springfield’s school superintendent has announced that he is appointing a longtime judge to lead the district’s investigation into the drowning death of a student.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick introduced Judge William Abrashkin, who currently serves as the executive director of the Springfield Housing Authority, to head the independent review of the events surrounding Friday, February 15.

12-year-old Marlon Brown died from an apparent drowning after taking part in a swim class at the Kiley Middle School.

The judge’s appointment is subject to the approval of the housing authority’s board of commissioners.

“Inviting an independent and impartial third-party to conduct an internal review is a break from tradition for us but it is my opinion that an incident as grave as this one requires an unusual measure such as this,” Warwick says.

At the completion of the review, Abrashkin will forward his findings to Warwick.

Abrashkin will work with closely with the district’s chief of human resources and safety and security director on the investigation.

“It is my hope to move the review along with all deliberate speed, understanding, of course, that the most important thing is to get it right,” adds Abrashkin.

Two other investigations continue by the Springfield Police Department and the Hampden County District Attorney’s office. Warwick reiterated Monday the district’s continued cooperation with those inquiries.

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