BROCKTON (CBS) – Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter died suddenly Wednesday morning at the age of 62.
City Council president Moises Rodrigues said Carpenter had just dropped off his grandson at the Arnone School for a summer program around 7:30 a.m. when he collpased just after getting back into his SUV. Carpenter was rushed to Good Samaritan Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz said the medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death, but foul play is not suspected. The mayor’s chief of staff Nick Giaquinto said Carpenter had a cardiac catherization recently and had two stents put in less than two weeks ago. The mayor’s father died a couple of weeks ago as well, according to Giaquinto, and Carpenter had been caring for his father in hospice.
Less than an hour before he passed away, Carpenter tweeted from his official account at 6:47 a.m. Wednesday, congratulating former Red Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo for recently winning an Emmy with the San Diego Padres.
Carpenter was elected back in 2013 and had just launched a re-election campaign for a fourth term.
“He was a guy that got up at 4 o’clock in the morning, went to bed at 12 o’clock at night and it was the city of Brockton all day long,” said Bob Buckley, Carpenter’s former chief of staff. “A great friend to me and to a lot of people in Brockton long before he became mayor.”
Carpenter leaves behind his partner Juli Caldwell and six children. He had lived in Brockton for 32 years, according to the city’s website. Funeral plans have not been announced yet.
“His indefatigable and infectious approach to governing had created unprecedented momentum and urban renewal in the city’s downtown,” the city of Brockton said in a statement. “The Mayor was working up until the very moment of his passing.”
“Mayor Carpenter was a true ally in fighting the opioid crisis, including his work with The Champion Plan recovery program,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey tweeted. “His leadership will be sorely missed.”
“Our office sends its sincere condolences on the sudden passing of Mayor Carpenter,” Cruz said in a statement. “The Mayor was a true partner in our shared pursuit of public safety in the City of Brockton. A long time participant and attendee at our Operation Safe Streets community meetings, he ensured the participation and cooperation of all levels of city government, from the police to city hall, in our collaborative efforts to make the city a safer place for everyone who lives and works here.”
Chief of staff Nick Giaquinto said he was stunned to learn of Carpenter’s death.
“He was my best friend, and a lot of people could say that. It was tragic news this morning when I woke up and got that news,” he said.
Rodrigues will serve as acting mayor for now.