WILMINGTON -- The head of the town's firefighters union remains on duty with the Fire Department after he was arrested earlier this month on a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery.

Firefighter William Cavanaugh, president of Local 1370 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, was arrested on Saturday, Jan. 18, when Wilmington Police responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at his home.

Cavanaugh called incident "a personal matter with me, my wife and my family" and said that the charges were "in the process of being dropped."

Fire Chief Ed Bradbury said Monday that Cavanaugh is still working, though the department is making sure it complies with an active restraining order against him.

Any potential disciplinary action "would be really up to the town manager," Bradbury said. Town Manager Jeff Hull could not immediately be reached for comment Monday morning.

"Our only concern is that we comply with any documents that are going to restrict his activity, so that's what we've done," Bradbury said. "Where it's a domestic abuse case, we're a little sensitive to the whole thing."

Following his arrest, Cavanaugh was released on $200 cash bail and arraigned in Woburn District Court on Jan. 21.

According to court documents, Cavanaugh's wife told police that he hit her near her left eye during an argument in which he had also grabbed her by the arms and shoved her.

He was served with a restraining order while in police custody.

His next court date is set for March 11.

For more on this story, see Tuesday's Sun or visit http://www.lowellsun.com