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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.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yes, it's true, Frank Polito has resigned from town politics.

Mr. Polito turned in his resignation letter the end of last week, citing the fact that his homeowners insurance has dropped him due to his personal legal fees. Mr. Polito reportedly said that he couldn't take the chance of moderating town meeting this year and being sued again. That is the official spin, and it is the truth as far as it goes. But as is usual in Atkinson there is a back story, and it goes something like this;

In early 2007, when the original Atkinson Reporter first started, the blog received a number of very nasty personal attacks, against a number of residents. These posts were unprintable, and the blog did not print them but printed them out and mailed them anonymously to the people being discussed. In one of the posts the perpetrator went so far as to accuse one of these people of contributing to the death of Ruth McPherson. Another told of a secret meeting between Fred Childs, Jack Sapia, and town counsel, Sumner Kalman, that then selectman, Paul Sullivan was purposely excluded from, and reported the contents of that meeting.

At this same time the selectmen and Frank Polito were the subject of a lawsuit in town. In the course of this lawsuit all the evidence of the posts was obtained, and laboriously traced IP's and proxies back to the original poster. All these posts came from a single hub in Lucent Technologies. A preservation letter to Lucent with all the details, including the IP's and evidence. The letter notified Lucent that legal action was being contemplated against Lucent and that this information must be preserved. Lucent went about tracing the information, and apparently descended upon Frank Polito's dept. Lucent seized his company laptop, and the relevant Internet server. Frank reportedly received some type of "dressing down" over this incident, putting, as he told the town "his job in jeopardy".

Frank responded to the preservation letter to Lucent, even though he was never mentioned in it, fighting the Grant's in court to try to block the production of this information. He got himself a private attorney to intervene in this matter paid for by his homeowners insurance. When it became clear that the plaintiffs were not backing down, and wanted this information, the insurance companies quickly settled, leaving Frank's homeowners insurance company with not only a lawyers bill, but the settlement check as well. And before anyone asks; NO, it was never proven in Court, due to the early settlement that Frank made those odious posts, But Lucent evidently thought so, they seized his computers, and the insurance company was apparently nervous, they settled awfully quickly after this incident.

Then we have Frank's frivolous lawsuit against the Town of Atkinson. When Brian Boyle started building Winslow Dr., on the original plot plan there was a paved path through the woods connecting Winslow with Woodlawn ave. The path ran off a driveway, and made a 90 degree bend in the woods to come out at the top of Woodlawn. Boyle offered the fire chief two live hydrants that he could put behind the Academy(an area of town that had always been a concern because of it's lack of water) if he would fore go the path. Chief Murphy agreed because the path was useless, he said, due to it's 90 degree bend, and the fact that the first 100' of it was someones driveway. Enter Phil and Jack, Jack was overheard to say in the town hall that they would sue, and the town would end up with BOTH the hydrants and the path as the path was "a life safety issue". Sumner reportedly informed them that as selectman, they could not sue the town, they would be on both sides of the case. Within a week, Frank had filed suit against the Town for alleged public safety violations. It appeared that they were attempting to manipulate the legal system to force Boyle to pay for both. The case was dismissed for lack of standing, the Judge telling Frank that he lived 3 miles away from this path, and therefore was not affected in any way.

Flash Forward to the ZBA meeting where Frank ordered the cameras shut off so that he could berate his board, swearing at Ellen McGrath. She resigned the following week.

And how could we forget last years deliberative session, where Frank told a guy sitting in his seat taking pictures of the proceeding that he was forbidden by law from doing that. Frank has been in town politics long enough to fully understand 91-A, and know that he was misinforming the town about it's provisions. He also had no problem with the other three people in that room taking pictures, only Brownfield. Curious. Brownfield sued, and once again Frank got a private attorney on his insurance, to work along side the town's insurance company attorneys.

In every one of these cases, the town's insurance company had attorneys working these cases, Frank wanted his own attorney to work with them, and his insurance paid for it, right up until they got sick of footing these repetitive and unnecessary bills.

So while Mrs. Childs can decry the "bottom feeders" that drove Frank to this resignation, maybe an objective view of the heretofore unknown details will demonstrate that Frank largely brought this upon himself.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

I cannot confirm or dispute what has been reported.

But...
I suspect that the need to engage personal attorneys and utilize one's own personal homeowners / umbrella coverage stems from the disturbing (to me) tactic used by his adversaries to sue Polito (and others) in BOTH their capacity as a town official (where the Town's insurance handles the defense) AND as a private citizen (where his defense is self-funded unless covered by personal insurance).

To me, while legal, that tactic goes over the line of decency by attacking one's personal and financial well-being.

This is one's reward for volunteering for town service? Who would volunteer for any town position in this ugly climate? Cross the wrong people and you get (personally) sued.

While some no doubt consider this a victory, I think the town is the real loser in this mess.

Anonymous said...

Clearly blogging attacks should not be defended by the town insurance, but the individuals. It should also not fall on the town to defend someone who is using their political position to defame, or attack another. This behavior is not part of the position itself.

So I disagree.

Anonymous said...

Nope! for the past 5 years personal legal fees have been covered by the taxpayers too! As long as the selectmen do that there is no need for personal counsel. Look at Phil and Jack, they have never paid an attorney a dime, letting the taxpayers foot the bill.

Anonymous said...

The town is the loser. They allowed these things to happen to protect their own political agenda and power base. Threatening and intimidating those taxpayers trying to protect their rights is one of their techniques to "bully" honest citizens into submission. Name calling, slandering, and threatening of a lawsuit is another.

How dare a political figure like Dale Childs accuse any taxpayer of being a "bottom feeder" in a live session of a selectmen's meeting. There have been lawsuits brought against the town for doing just that. Obviously, she and her selectman husband haven't learned their lesson yet, and will continue to fuel lawsuits by doing so.

Calling a concerned taxpayer a "bottom feeder" for complaining is inexcusable and Dale should apologize immediately at the next selectmen's meeting. What she did would be equilivent to a taxpayer calling her a "Troll", which is actually what she is.

Anonymous said...

I know of several other Frank stories not mentioned here where citizens were harmed by our moderator's bizarre behavior. The potential for him to avoid further lawsuits is not avoided by resigning. There's no doubt he brought it on himself. The documentation speaks to the facts. The town is a winner cause we are free from his tyranny at town meetings.

Dale Childs slandering people as bottom feeders is the type of town politics that must come to an end. She only gives the plaintiffs MORE ammunition to give the courts to prove their points. Shut your big trap for pete's sake and stop generating more lawsuits. I'm sick of paying for them. Didn't you learn ANYTHING from Frank's resignation? Just SHUT UP. Time for you to resign too.

Anonymous said...

Questions for everyone.

1. Would you run for Moderator? Why or why not?

2. Would you apply to replace Polito on the ZBA? Why or why not?

I'm guessing the answers, if honestly rendered, will speak volumes to the troubles we have here in town.

Anonymous said...

Make sure that video of the mtg is archived for posterity.

Anonymous said...

The house of cards is coming down little by little. There has never been honesty among thieves and there never will be.

Maybe there is still a chance for our town to have a town government we can trust.

Anonymous said...

You know, none of these lawsuits that now seem commonplace started until Phil and Jack were selectmen. Most of them dealt with their awful performance and bone headed antics.

Anonymous said...

To Jan 19 at 4:35...

Phil & Jack are lightening rods, I'll grant you that.

But haven't Sullivan, Childs, Friel and possibly others also been named in various suits?

That's what probably worries people who otherwise would be qualified and interested to volunteer for town service. It certainly gives me pause.

Anonymous said...

Sumner gets paid more if it goes to court, Frank has at least 3 more lawsuits coming his way.

Anonymous said...

Sitting selectmen have been named because they turned a blind eye to these meatheads games. They had the responsibility to supervise their employees and they failed.

Curt Springer said...

Very few people are "employees" of the selectmen, in the sense that the selectmen can supervise them. The office staff and elderly affairs director, yes. Limited supervisory authority of the police chief. No authority over the moderator or other statutory officials or boards even if they receive compensation.

It is a myth in NH town government that the selectmen are ultimately in charge of and accountable for everybody and everything in town. All of the statutory boards and officials, including the selectmen, have independent powers that come from state law, although there are various checks and balances. It's just that the selectmen have a bigger bag of powers than the rest of them.

Anonymous said...

"and laboriously traced IP's and proxies back to the original poster"

See, I told you your IP addresses could be tracked. Even if your IP address is dynamically assigned, as most are, you can still be pinpointed on a Google Earth map. I know. I've seem my Fairpoint dynamically assigned address pointed right at my house.

Think of all the things you've posted since I first posted this warning. Chances are good the moderator(s) know who you are if you did not take precautions.

Anonymity only truly works if your trail cannot be tracked.

http://www.ninjacloak.com/

Frank was stupid to use his work computer. I've heard he's an engineer. If true, it was really stupid. I'm happy with the results, but learn from his experience.

Anonymous said...

Bottom feeders huh what a Bit98.Who the hell does she think she is? Time for you To go ALSO. Wanna talk law suits I am feeling offend here. On the other hand this bottom feeder wants to save the town some $ so, I won't sue !...:) an apology would be nice though. or you quitting would be a nice gift to.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt in my mind that F. Politos resignation was correct. Chief Consentinos resignation is overdue a long time.

Anonymous said...

He stilled used his work computer to do town business. He is bright but thought he was invincible and ran the town. He will still have a hand in it, behind the scenes. Go away, stay away is what I say!

Anonymous said...

Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Notice the Eagle Tribune does not consider Polito's resignation worthy of even printing. This shows to me and other citizens that the Eagle Tribue is protecting Atkinxson hacks form public exposure. They are shielding them from public view instead of exposing what is wrong in our town.

This is not freedom of the press.

This is supression of information.

The Eagle Tribune Violates the citizens right to know.

Anonymous said...

Blah, Blah, Blah.... I wonder if this stuff goes on in other small towns. I hardly think so. Grow up!!

Anonymous said...

"The Eagle Tribune Violates the citizens right to know."

File an RSA91A request then.

Anonymous said...

The Eagle Tribune violates your right to know? They're a newspaper. If you want to know something, get out from behind your computer and volunteer to do something in town.

This group is a riot. I suppose you all think 9/11 was an inside job too.

Get a life guys. Enjoy your life.

Anonymous said...

bottom feeders her and her husband have been living of the town for the last 40 years talk about bottom feeders i hope her back hurts her for the rest of her life .and get,s worst with every passing day

Anonymous said...

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS."

- Mohandas Gandhi

Anonymous said...

"File an RSA91A request then."

I hope this was meant as sarcasm because it is hard to phantom a person this dumb to suggest this for a newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Will the spelling & grammar critic also abandon the vulnerable who need constant guidance?

What a pity.

Anonymous said...

Just how do you "phantom" a person anyway??? If you put a person 20 fathoms under, do they now turn into a phantom? I am SO confused.

Anonymous said...

I can't fathom why our official town moderator Polito sent out messages accusing Atkinson voters of God Knows What -- from his work computer on company time. Fathom-phantom me that while you're at it.

I am SO confused.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure everything can be answered with an RSA91A request. I'm thinking about filing one to find out where my left sock is.

Anonymous said...

Attorney Douglas will find out all everything from your upcoming Depositions in Superior Court. Douglas doesn't do RSA91A requests for socks.

Depositions to uncover incriminating evidence is more like it. (Put your right sock in your mouth - it's the best strategy.)

Anonymous said...

I plead the phantom 5th. Should have used a thesaurus, damn. Can't help it. English is my native language.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Attorney Douglas will be able to tell me where my left sock is AND who is the phantom 20 fathoms down! He's just the nuts! I think Douglas should run for office. Does he drive a pick up truck by chance?

Anonymous said...

What will work is a phantom 2009 deliberative session tape that will self-destructs when played for the jury. Now you got something.

And that loud audio hum put over Mr. Brownfield's defense at the microphone at deliberative session. Who is responsible for that?

Anonymous said...

Maybe Brownfield can take a picture of the phantom! Then he can post it on his blog!

Anonymous said...

Come to 2010 deliberative session with your camera. Bring a camera and tape recorder. It's legal, after all.

Bring a comfortable chair or at least a chair pad. That's legal too. (Then you won't have a cold bum and ache in the tail.)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, right. There should have been a warrant article a decade ago to get rid of those hard metal chairs. Chiropractors love the business those chairs make for them.

Anonymous said...

"I can't fathom why our official town moderator Polito sent out messages accusing Atkinson voters of God Knows What -- from his work computer on company time. Fathom-phantom me that while you're at it."

I must offer an apology to Mr. Polito. I just re-read this submission article and it says there was no factuals that he sent out any messages or accusations. My reading of the posting lead me to only assume that is what happened but that information was not presented or obtained in court. Therefore my post made above is entirely in error and regrettable.

Anonymous said...

The above is also an official retraction, as it is in error.

Anonymous said...

We'll be handing out disposable cameras at the door when people walk into deliberative session as a commemoration to Frank.

Mrs. Goodridge said...

I realize this thread has petered out so excuse the fact that I am late to the discussion. I resented the negative comments about the Tribune and its reporter.

Eric Pary has endeavored to put down on paper news about Atkinson, N H. This is not a simple assignment.

He needs to gather information from many avenues and speak with all factions. Researching and validating the facts is essential. Writing the article making sure that the grammar and spelling are accurate and that the work satisfies his editor. Do all that and then get it to press while it is still news.
.
In time, I have come to realize that a position on an issue often makes a news account seem subjective, slanted toward a view opposite of our own.

I do not always agree with everything in print but I am thankful that we have Freedom of the Press and a local paper and reporter that is covering our town.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disagree, but the Eagle Tribune slants their "reporting" to protect the town that pays their advertising bill. Atkinson town hall pays a lot to them.

When it comes to reporting, there is no evidence of a skilled person at the Eagle Tribune.

Will the reporter assigned to Atkinson please print your resume on the blog for all to view? We would like to see your educational and press qualifications. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disagree, but the Eagle Tribune slants their "reporting" to protect the town that pays their advertising bill. Atkinson town hall pays a lot to them.

While 18K sounds like a lot, it doesn't even cover a salary of a single employee. The Town by law must post notices so they could hardly stop doing business with the ET. Your assertion is ridiculous.

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Anonymous said...

Now knowing the deceit that Mr. Polito can render to nice folk even while professing to be concerned about their "pain", I am not at all surprised to know that he used his position in town politics to bully others. He's a small man who always needs to be right, even when it requires him to lie out of both sides of his mouth.
Those of you who are about to meet Frank, beware! He is not what he seems.

Sally said...

Very few people are "employees" of the selectmen, in the sense that the selectmen can supervise them. The office staff and elderly affairs director, yes. Limited supervisory authority of the police chief. No authority over the moderator or other statutory officials or boards even if they receive compensation. It is a myth in NH town government that the selectmen are ultimately in charge of and accountable for everybody and everything in town. All of the statutory boards and officials, including the selectmen, have independent powers that come from state law, although there are various checks and balances. It's just that the selectmen have a bigger bag of powers than the rest of them.

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