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Welcome to the NEW Atkinson Reporter! Under new management, with new resolve.

The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

This Blog will not fall to outside hacks from anyone, especially insecure public officials afraid of their constituents criticism.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

ACLU-NH, InDepthNH.org Fight To Release Secret List of Dishonest NH Police

By Nancy West, InDepthNH.org

NASHUA – ACLU-NH and six news outlets argued in court Thursday that the list containing the names of 171 law enforcement officers with credibility problems should be public, while Solicitor General Daniel E. Will maintained it is confidential by law.
Will told Judge Charles S. Temple in Hillsborough Superior Court South that the list, formerly known as the Laurie list, should be kept secret because state law – RSA 105:13-b – requires police personnel files to be confidential, except when police discipline must be disclosed as evidence favorable to a defendant.
Gilles Bissonnette, ACLU-NH’s legal director, argued the public has a right to know the names of the 171 officers who have been disciplined for matters involving dishonesty and untruthfulness.
“We’re dealing with misconduct that goes to the heart of what a police officer’s job is, that officer’s trustworthiness, the character traits that go to the core of an officer’s job functions,” Bissonnette said.
Such misconduct includes lying, falsification of records or evidence, any criminal conduct, egregious dereliction of duty and excessive use of force, Bissonnette said.
“This is serious misconduct,” he said. “The law does not protect these officers with the benefit of confidentiality.”
Bissonnette told Judge Temple the list, which is now called the Exculpatory Evidence Schedule, is not part of an officer’s personnel file, but a separate document not covered by the law mandating confidentiality.
Who is the department protecting under this policy? Bissonnette asked.
“It would include, for example, the two Manchester police officers that currently are under investigation and were subsequently terminated for soliciting sex from a suspect…” Bissonnette said. “The public interest in disclosure is high.”
Bissonnette, and the state’s top 1st Amendment lawyers, Gregory V. Sullivan and William Chapman, all argued to Judge Temple that RSA 105:13-b doesn’t apply in this case as Solicitor General Will insisted.
It is a separate document containing limited information about sustained police wrongdoing that is kept by the Attorney General’s Office. The police personnel file is kept by the officers’ employer, they argued.
“We think it clearly doesn’t apply to the (Exculpatory Evidence Schedule),” Bissonnette said.
Right-to-know lawsuit
The ACLU-NH, the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism, the named plaintiff in the case which publishes InDepthNH.org, and five of the state’s biggest news organizations filed the lawsuit. The Nashua Telegraph, the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Concord Monitor/Valley News, the Portsmouth Herald/Foster’s Daily Democrat, and the Keene Sentinel, also joined the suit. All were originally denied access to an unredacted list of officers.
The officers’ names were redacted in the list that was released, but most of the departments that employed the officer were included and a very brief description the wrongdoing. Some also stated the date the officer’s name was added to the list.
Concord attorney Chapman of Orr and Reno made clear why the news organizations and the ACLU-NH believe the names should be a matter of public information.
“Without knowing the names of the police officers on the (Exculpatory Evidence Schedule) list, there is no way the public can hold the police – whether the police department, whether it’s the county attorney, whether it’s the Department of Justice – is fulfilling their Brady obligation. Without knowing who the officers are, the public has no ability to do that,” Chapman said.
Chapman was referring to a prosecutor’s constitutional obligation under the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brady v. Maryland. It requires evidence that is favorable to a defendant, including discipline that could negatively affect an officer’s ability to testify truthfully, be disclosed to the defendant before trial.
Failure to disclose could mean reversing a conviction if discovered later on. A prosecutor who withholds such evidence could be disciplined as well.
New Hampshire’s secret police list has been controversial since the public first learned of its existence in 2012. Defense lawyers say there is no way to be sure the favorable evidence is turned over as required. Police argue, too, that their careers can be ruined by being arbitrarily placed on the list because defendants could use the information to impeach an officer’s testimony.
New protocols
On April 30, Attorney General Gordon MacDonald issued a memo to clarify an update on EES that had been released March 17, 2017, by his predecessor, former Attorney General Joseph Foster.
The  Exculpatory Evidence Schedule after MacDonald updated the policy, is intended to alert prosecutors when testifying police officers have credibility, excessive force or mental health issues that resulted in discipline so they can disclose as required.
Sullivan’s take
Attorney Sullivan, representing the New Hampshire Union Leader, said the state is basing its arguments favoring secrecy on the wrong statute.
“There is no law enforcement exemption in the right-to-know law,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said the state Supreme Court recognized that in the Lodge v. Knowlton case and created a test to determine when law enforcement records should be made public.
Would release of the document interfere with law enforcement proceedings, deprive a person of a right to a fair trial, or constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy, Sullivan asked. The answer is no in each case, he said, so the list should be public.




Sullivan went over the 10 sections in the state’s motion to dismiss the right-to-know lawsuit, taking note of the fact that the state based its argument for secrecy by claiming the list is part of the officer’s confidential personnel file.
“We’re not talking about a personnel file,” Sullivan said. “We’re talking about a separate government document, an (Exculpatory Evidence Schedule) list maintained by the Department of Justice.”


Solicitor General’s view
Solicitor General Will said the reason the state Attorney General’s Office is involved in the case is simple.
“… the reason why we are having this dispute is because we are enforcing the current law,” Will said.


Will referred again to RSA 105:13-b claiming it clearly mandates the confidentiality of a police officer’s personnel file, except under Brady disclosure requirements.
“If the legislature had said, your honor, these police personnel files should be public, those files would be public,” Will said. “The legislature hasn’t said that.”
Instead, the legislature has made it clear – unequivocally and unambiguously – that police personnel files are strictly confidential except to discharge a prosecutor’s obligations to turn over favorable evidence to a criminal defendant, Will said.
The fact the list is located outside of the police personnel file makes no difference, Will said.
“The petitioners’ argument is best placed before the legislature,” Will said. “We’re here because our obligation, our job is to enforce the law as written.”
New information
Senior Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey W.R. Ward said the list of 171 names isn’t necessarily what the new protocol calls for. Instead it is a work in progress since all of the departments haven’t yet been certified to the new MacDonald standards.
For the first time, the new protocol offers police officers an avenue to remove their names from the list if they believe they were wrongly added.
Ward explained that the policy is new and still in flux.
Some officers on the list may have been placed on the list by police chiefs who were erring on the side of caution and some may not have exhausted their right to challenge the placement as now required, he said. The new protocol requires an officer be given due process to remove his or her name before being added to the list.
There may still be officers who didn’t know they were on the list who come forward to challenge placement, Ward said.

Sullivan was concerned the process of seeking removal from the list will continue as long as there is a list and shouldn’t hinder the release of the names presently on the list.
“That process is going to go on ad infinitum,” Sullivan said, adding the lawsuit doesn’t seek the names of the officers who have already asked to be removed.
Judge Temple allowed for both sides to file written briefs and responses.
After the hearing, Ward said of the 246 towns and law enforcement agencies, there remain 78 agencies that haven’t been certified to the new protocols.





Thursday, February 22, 2018

BOE reverses January decision about Green complaint

Sends sends former school board member's objection to DOE

PLAISTOW — The state Board of Education has reversed its previous decision ordering School Administrative Unit 55 to hold a hearing about a complaint by former Timberlane Regional School Board member Donna Green, and referred the complaint to the state Department of Education for further review.
Green said that she was relieved by the turn of events.
"I have an important complaint," Green said. "So far I've been through one procedural obstruction after another thanks to SAU 55's extravagant use of legal resources. I look forward to my complaint finally being examined on its merits now that the Department of Education is taking it under investigation."
Superintendent Earl Metzler said that he is confident the DOE will also dismiss the complaint.
"I would say this brings yet another political stunt to end by Donna Green with the same result," said Metzler. "She wastes time and money for her own political resume. This was nothing more than a lame attempt to obstruct the work of the SAU."
The complaint process began in July 2017, when Green asked the BOE for a hearing about her complaint against SAU 55 — which encompasses the Hampstead and Timberlane school districts and shares a superintendent — claiming that the SAU violated state law in regards to setting salaries for employees.
Specifically, Green questioned the legality of the June hiring of Business Operations Coordinator Thomas Geary, arguing that the SAU 55 board did not set Geary's salary, as is required by state law. 
Because this issue was not discussed at the local level first, the BOE dismissed Green's initial request for a hearing until the SAU 55 board could hold a hearing.
During the Oct. 4 SAU board meeting, the board discussed and dismissed Green's request for a hearing, which then prompted Green to file a new request with the BOE.
The SAU's attorney followed by filing a motion to dismiss the complaint, citing a lack of jurisdiction.
While the state hearing office recommended that the BOE dismiss the case because of jurisdiction, at their Jan. 11 meeting, the BOE decided to hear the case and ordered the SAU to hold a full fact-finding hearing on the issue.
The SAU then filed an appeal with the state.
On Feb. 14, the BOE rescinded its decision about the SAU hearing, and referred Green's complaint to the DOE for further review and investigation.
Metzler said the SAU attorney is following up with the DOE to understand the next steps and how to file an appeal.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Search for solution in Timberlane default budget disagreement

Metzler says he will provide school board with documents outlining legal obligations for special education



PLAISTOW — Members of the Timberlane Regional School Board and the administration disagree over the financial obligations of the district, causing concerns that 2018-19 default budget would lead to deficits or legal issues. 
The $71.3  default budget — approved by the school board in a 5-4 vote — budgeted $9.3 million for special education and $3.1 million for student transportation. In a draft of the default budget created by Timberlane Business Administrator Geoffrey Dowd, the district budgeted $9.9 million for special education and over $3.6 million for transportation.
According to state law, a default budget — which comes into play if voters reject the district's proposed budget — equals the amount of the operating budget from the previous year, plus any increases from contracts or legal obligations and minus any one-time costs.  
However, the district and some school board members disagree about those legal obligations and one-time costs, meaning there is a $2 million difference between their budgets.
Superintendent Earl Metzler and Dowd argue that the default budget underfunded both student transportation and special education, which would have major negative impacts on the district. Because the district is required to fulfill all special education needs and provide adequate transportation for students, if those lines in the default budget do not increase, the district would be forced to pull funds from other areas in the budget.
Disagreeing with the administration, School Board Chairman Brian Boyle said he is confident all aspects of the default budget were created legally and properly. He said that he spoke with four different New Hampshire lawyers to confirm the default budget is in compliance with the appropriate RSAs.
"We followed that process right to the letter of the law," said Boyle. "I take the duty and responsibility of chairman of the school board very seriously."
Boyle explained exactly how the default budget follows the law. 
For transportation, the default budget shows level funding because there is currently no new contract approved. Once the district accepts and approves a new bus contract, the student transportation line in the default budget will be adjusted to reflect the increase of the new contract.
Boyle also told the Tribune that the school board has not received any documents from the district that demonstrate a contract or legal obligations for special education that amount to the increase outlined in the district's original draft of the default budget. Therefore, without a contract or proof of legal obligations, the school board cannot legally increase the special education line of the default budget.
"Our hands are tied in the terms of how the default budget is calculated," said Boyle.
However, Metzler said the legal obligations for the district to meet Individualized Educational Plans and special education needs are very real and the district is prepared to justify and show all legal obligations.
"We will provide Chairman Boyle with whatever documentation we can legally provide so that the default budget is both accurate and legal," said Metzler.
He added, "We will go line by line and justify every single expense."
Metzler said he spoke with Boyle Friday morning following the lengthy school board meeting Thursday night, and he said the two — alongside Dowd — hope to meet early next week to clarify the districts legal obligations for special education spending.
"My goal is to have the business administrator, the superintendent, and the chair all in agreement so that I can support the default budget," said Metzler.
Boyle said for the special education line in the default to change, the information provided from the district, "has to be monetary and has to be contractual."
"We will clearly honor all contractual obligations of the district," said Boyle.
The school board is slated to join the budget committee next Thursday at their supplemental public hearing to discuss the proposed operating budget and all monetary warrant articles.
The hearing is to be held Thursday, Jan. 25 at the Timberlane Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m..
While the hearing is hosted by the budget committee, the school board will also be joining the committee on stage at the PAC to give a short presentation about the default budget and answer any questions from residents.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Grosky named Selectmen Chair



ATKINSON — The Atkinson Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to name Selectman Jason Grosky the new chairman of the board Monday night, replacing the recently reelected Harold Morse.
Although Grosky is entering the last year of his first term on the board, it’s not the Salem prosecutor’s first rodeo in a chairman’s seat.
He served as Timberlane Regional School Budget Committee Chairman in 2014.
“I’m honored that my colleagues gave me the opportunity and trusted me in doing this,” Grosky said when reached for comment. “That was very kind of them.”
“Before becoming a selectman, I was chairman on the school budget committee over at Timberlane, which, at different points in time, can have significant upheaval,” he said, noting that he had learned a great deal on the committee.
Selectman Phil Consentino, reelected vice chairman, said he had been slated to become chairman this year, but recused himself from the role for health reasons.
“I turned it down because of my health,” Consentino said. “And I let Grosky take chairman.”
When asked to clarify about his health, Consentino explained that he did not want to leave the board short if he were to be indisposed by illness.
Grosky explained that he does not see a big difference in power between the chairman and the rest of the board.
“The chairman has no more power than any individual member has,” Grosky said, adding that the difference is that he and the town administrator set agendas for each meeting.
“My vote is 20 percent and it is no greater than that or less than that, whether I’m chairman or not,” he said.
He sees the next year as a continuation of providing services with an eye towards keeping costs down.
“As far as the next year, it’s a lot of the same issues that you deal with in town government, trying to make sure that you’re providing the services that your neighbors need, that you’re doing so at a reasonable cost,” Grosky explained.
“Atkinson is known to have a very low tax rate, despite being a community that has very little business base, and that’s definitely our target.”
As to what projects Grosky thinks the board will tackle during his year-long tenure, he pointed to long-running issues facing Atkinson, including adding a cell tower and studying the police station.
“The building of a new cellphone tower at the highest point in town ... that hasn’t been resolved yet,” he said, adding that the access road, High Hill Road, poses problems related to repair and ownership.
“The Atkinson Police Department is in an old, almost one-room school house if you will — it’s nowhere near a modern police station,” Grosky said.
“So those discussions have just started, as to what the needs are going forward,” he added, saying that the time frame is years, rather than months, on big changes.
The headliner event for the year, he noted, has to be this summer’s celebrations for the town’s 250th birthday.
“We’re going to have a great celebration — if there is a headliner for this year it would be that,” Grosky said.
Town Administrator Alan Phair, who works closely with each chairman, said that Grosky will bring new energy to the board.
“I think he’s a bright young man and I think that he’ll bring a lot of energy to the board, not that we haven’t had it in the past, because I thought that (former) chairman Morse did a very good job,” Phair said.
“(Grosky) has got a good background, so I think he’ll do well,” he added.
Grosky himself feels that the opportunity is a good book end to his first term as selectman.
“This is a nice way to wrap up this first full term,” Grosky said.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Really NH????

Bride, 13, was divorced in 4 months


Four months after a judge gave permission for a 17-year-old Newmarket boy to marry his 13-year-old pregnant girlfriend, the girl was back in court - seeking a divorce.

The teens had told the court their religious beliefs compelled them to marry after they found out she was pregnant.

"We are 6-months pregnant, and it is important to us that the baby is born to a set of married parents, as we have been taught by our Southern Baptist church home," they wrote in a marriage petition filed on April 11, 2013, in Dover.

"We know we are young, but with the support of our parents and the congregation, we are committed to bringing our son into a loving and healthy environment."

A state law dating back to 1907 allows girls as young as 13 and boys as young as 14 to marry, with permission of a parent or guardian and approval by the family court.

That remains the law of the land after the House on Thursday effectively killed a bill that would have raised the minimum age for marriage to 18 and eliminated the court review process.

According to state vital records, courts have allowed 810 minors to marry here since 1989. The 13-year-old bride in 2013 is the youngest person granted permission during that period.

A judge from the 7th Circuit Court family division agreed to allow the marriage after a 30-minute hearing on April 24, 2013, in Dover, where the teens appeared with both of their mothers.

In her May 8, 2013, order, Justice Susan Ashley clearly had misgivings. "The initial thought of a 13-year-old getting married weighs heavily against granting this marriage petition," she wrote. "Nevertheless, this very idea is clearly contemplated, and allowable, by the ... statutes."

Ashley noted that the family court only sees the unsuccessful marriages. "To be frank, this court could imagine protecting (the teenagers) from the emotional havoc from 'marrying too young.' Yet, the court also knows all too well that such havoc may ensue whether or not (they) marry each other," she wrote.

Ashley said "trying to protect and guide these two young people is simply not the job of this court; it is the job of their parents."

All four parents had given permission for the teens to marry, she noted, and she cited their "desire to act in accordance with the tenets of their religious instruction" for her decision.

At the hearing, the couple "spoke of their Christian beliefs, which prompt them to take responsibility for their actions and do what is best for their child," the judge wrote. "They believe that their child should be born to married parents, as a symbol of their commitment to each other and their child."

The couple's baby boy was born on Aug. 3, 2013, according to court documents.

On Sept. 20, the girl, who had turned 14, filed a petition for divorce, citing "infidelity and domestic abuse" as the cause. The following January, she filed a motion to amend the petition, changing the cause to "irreconcible differences" (sic).

The divorce was granted on Jan. 9, 2014.

Efforts to reach the teenagers and their parents last week were unsuccessful.

Judge Edwin Kelly, administrative judge of the circuit court, said the judge's order in the 2013 case makes it clear she was concerned about the girl's young age.

But, he said, "it's pretty hard to say no when you've got a statute staring you in the face saying yes.

"Despite the fact it is 100 years old, it wasn't changed on the date that this case was heard. A statute in most cases will create a presumption that it's OK."

Rep. Jacalyn Cilley, D-Barrington, was the prime sponsor of House Bill 499, which would have raised the legal age of marriage to 18. She said the House vote to "indefinitely postpone" the bill last week was "devastatingly disappointing."

Her original bill would have raised the marriage age to 18, but allowed teens aged 16 or 17 to petition for court approval. The House Children and Family Law Committee amended it to remove the judicial review, and voted 11-0 to recommend it "ought to pass."

On Thursday, however, five members of that committee, including its chairman, Kimberly Rice, R-Hudson, and vice chairman, Daniel Itse, R-Fremont, voted to indefinitely postpone the bill.

Opponents argued that such a law would prevent young service members from marrying their teenage sweethearts before deployment, depriving them of family benefits.

The motion to postpone passed 179-168.

Watching from the House gallery on Thursday was Cassandra Levesque, a 17-year-old senior at Dover High School.

She began researching the effects of child marriage two years ago as part of her work on advocacy for her Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. It was Levesque who approached Cilley about sponsoring the legislation; she also testified before the committee.

After the House limited debate on the bill and then voted to kill it, Levesque said, she was "a little bit discouraged."

"But then I took a breather and said, I'm not going to give up. I'm going to keep fighting for this bill and this cause," she said.

Levesque said the argument that it would harm military members isn't accurate. "I'm from a military family," she said. "Getting married, when you're in the military, that young is not a good start."

Changing the marriage age is a policy matter that is up to the Legislature, Judge Kelly said, noting the current law "is pretty wide open."

But here's his perspective: "On the one hand, if you were to ask people what's the youngest age at which someone should get married, I doubt they would say 13 and 14."

However, he said, "I do think whatever system we have ought to maintain flexibility for special circumstances and put someone who is neutral in the middle to make that determination, which is the role of the court."

Cilley said she won't give up on changing the law, but the House vote to indefinitely postpone means it cannot take up similar legislation for two years.

"That drove a stake through the heart of this bill," she said.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

HONOR, INTEGRITY, AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Please accept the following Article submission, Sincerely Mark R. Acciard

HONOR, INTEGRITY, AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST


"Public officials must act with a higher standard for avoiding the appearance of impropriety, as a condition of the public trust bestowed upon them"- Mark Acciard, May 5, 2005.



Mr. Metzler has been the main cheerleader for a new reading program to help kids improve their reading comprehension with informational texts. This program is proffered by a company called Achieve 3000. A Company Mr. Metzler's wife just happens to work for. She is in charge of "program implementation"for the Northeast region for Achieve 3000, and has been working with them for over a year. Coincidently, the very same year that her husband has been pushing the district to spend $167,000 on this very program. Monies that were not appropriated for this purpose we might add. Also, this $167,000 represents a 50% discount of the total cost of the program for it's first two  years.


It appears that Ms. Metzler began working for Achieve 3000 in or around Sept. 2015. Strictly coincidently we are certain, Mr. Metzler began pushing their reading program in Sept. of 2015. It was first mentioned at the meeting of the curriculum and assessment committee on Sept. 22. Subsequent minutes revealed that this was recommended by Mr. Metzler. The curriculum and assessment committee decided to adopt a pilot program to assess the students, and to begin training teachers to use it. Mind you, no presentation to the school board. No decision to buy the program. No appropriation of funds for it. And perhaps even more outrageous in the underhanded means in which this program was foisted upon the taxpayers, This was happening during the budget season, and no mention of this program was made to the budget committee, nor was a request for appropriation made to purchase or implement this program made. It should be noted that the "pilot program" is actually the initial implementation of Achieve 3000. It gathers the student assessment and base level data, trains teachers to use it, establishes the website, and assigned reading for each lexile level. The only thing missing IS BUYING THE PROGRAM THE DISTRICT IS ALREADY IMPLEMENTING!


At the curriculum and assessment committee meeting on February 16, 2016, it was reported that the assessment of students had been completed, teachers trained, and the program proceeding. STILL no mention to the school board, no vote to purchase the program, no vote to implement the program, no monies appropriated for it, and no disclosure of Ms. Metzler's role in the company.

At the curriculum and assessment committee meeting Sept. 6, 2016 the ball really began rolling, They reviewed progress to date, and Mr. Bealo(also chair of the school board, although he had yet to mention this program to them) made the motion to vote to present this program to the school  board, at their Sept. 15, 2016 meeting. It was also revealed that Achieve 3000 had provided to the district a phonics program, SmartyAntz, as an additional incentive for "agreeing to purchase" the reading program. NOTE, as of  this time there had been NO presentation to the school board. NO vote to buy the program. NO appropriation of monies to buy the program. and NO disclosure of Ms. Metzler's unique role in this debacle. Tell us, Mr. Bealo, who "AGREED" to purchase Achieve 3000 at that point? You?


The Sept. 15, 2016 school  board meeting showed a high pressure sales presentation that was not presented as a sales pitch but as a fait accompli. It was presented WITH MR. METZLER'S ACTIVE HELP AND COERCION, as if the decision to purchase had already been made. The usual board bobble heads made the usual bleats about the wonder of this incredible program, the usual representatives of the taxpayers raised the usual questions about the process, only to be shot down, as usual, by the entrenched purveyors of the status quo.


Now, the PROPER course of action, would have been for Metzler to plainly, and publicly state; "In full disclosure, my wife is employed by this vendor, Achieve 3000, and therefore I will be recusing myself and not participating in the discussion of this program" But that would have required a sense of honor and integrity evidently missing from the gentleman in question.


And, as usual, the school  board, Mr. Metzler, and the SAU also ignored their own policies, to advance their own personal agendas. The school board has a policy governing curriculae adoption, the salient portion of which reads as follows;


"The School Board will support efforts to investigate new curricular ideas, develop and improve programs, and evaluate results through appropriation of funds for specific curriculum development proposals approved by the School Board. The Superintendent will make recommendations to the Board regarding the specific level of funding for approved proposals.
The School Board will review all curricula developed and written by the professional staff in the schools. No basic course of study shall be eliminated or new courses added without approval of the Board, nor shall any significant alteration or reduction of a course of study be made without Board approval. No action will be taken on proposed changes by the Board until the meeting following the presentation by the administration so that Board members may have the opportunity to review the proposed program."  Note the emboldened passage.


Further Mr. Metzler never disclosed his family's relationship this vendor. Now OF COURSE, the SAU lacks an ethics, or conflict of interest policy like most government bodies have, which allows corrupt administrators to act with appalling abandon to theirs and their families interestss. It is high time to correct this problem.

Justice Louis Brandeis was correct; Sunlight is the best disinfectant. It is high time for the district, INCLUDING THE SAU, to have a stringent conflicts of interest ordinance. It is high time for the secrecy, and refusal to produce public information to stop. It is time for Mr. Metzler to understand that his  bosses are the school  board and their bosses are the taxpayers.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Mr. Groski, my the hypocrisy is strong with this one.

For those who did not know, Selectman Groski is running for County attorney. Given this office's history of ethically challenged opportunists, who do not give two shits about justice, He should fit in splendidly.

However, Mr. Groski penned a LTTE to the Carriage Towne News this week criticizing his opponent Pat Conway. He did so NOT by criticizing her actions, performance of duties, or any other such honorable method of discourse, NO, he chose to criticize her for the actions of her deputy. THEN, he devoted an inordinate amount of space to the derision of Laurie list cops, evidently the husband of Ms. Conway is on this list, but that did not stop him from using this to smear Ms. Conway. What this has to do with her job performance no one knows other than the mudslinger himself.

It falls to this blog to remind Mr. Groski of a few points, YOU EMPLOY A LAURIE LIST COP YOURSELF! Detective Nick Fiset. Nicky baby is apparently so dishonest that the County Prosecutor Jill Cook, did not even attempt to call him as a witness to a case in which he is the chief investigating officer. Have you ever heard of a criminal case in which the investigating officer does not testify as to his methods and findings?  What makes this worse is that it is believed that this officer fabricated a case against a resident, and has dragged it out for 20 months without trial. Mr. Groski, this is under YOUR alleged leadership.

You further decry the settlement expenses involved in civil litigation against the County Attorney's office, $80,000, Right Jason? But you are a staunch defender of your fellow Selectmen Phil Consentino, who just, what, two to three years ago cost this town and it's insurers $100,000 pursuant to a sexual harassment complaint? And this was just the latest expense in his storied career of bullying, harassing, and oppression, and the resulting litigation. His career has cost this town and it's insurers hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not over a million. No comment about that, right Jason?

You criticize Pat Conway, because the Judge had harsh words for HER DEPUTY. Words like; " “single-minded, zealous advocacy (that) clouded her higher duty to honor the defendant’s constitutional rights.”" But, Jason, Buddy, you defend Phil, about whom the following comments were made; "cease and desist" "bullying, harassing and intimidating his employees" by the NHPELRB. or "It is difficult for the Court to believe Mr. Consentino did not understand the terms of it's May 10, 2005 Order. Mr. Consentino testified that his attorney explained the Order to him" Rockingham Superior Court Judge McHugh, in his Contempt Order. From the same Order; "From the Defendant's demeanor, it is clear that he believes that because he was elected selectman he can do or say anything" "Apparently he concludes this entitles him to consider Atkinson "his town"". Because the Court finds that Philip Consentino has wilfully violated its order the Court grants the Plaintiffs motion for Contempt." THIS is what you defend.

Tell me Jason, you had no problem with the conflict of interest inherent in your wife's hiring as a consultant to TRSD. You have actively participated in town business meetings that violated RSA 91A. When this was pointed out, you defended the boards actions, obfuscating the issue, and refusing to address the simple legal requirements of going into a non public meeting. Hardly honorable.
You even attempted to use your standing as an attorney to give undue weight to yours and the boards wrongheaded theory that they enjoyed some authority over the Conflict of interest committee. Try reading the law, Jason, before you attempt to twist it.

Remembering these perfidities, and balancing them against your sanctimonious LTTE, reminds me of the parable about those who live in glass houses, throwing stones.