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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!

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Atkinson ethics panel loses another member Only one member left

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson ethics panel loses another member Only one member left
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — A third member of the town's four-person ethics board has resigned since last week.

Joyce LaFrance is the latest member to step down. In an e-mail to a reporter, LaFrance cited repeated harassment as the reason she resigned but declined yesterday to specify who was responsible.

"I don't want to deal with it," LaFrance said.

Two other Conflict of Interest Committee members, Chairman Jim Hazlett and Jack Sapia, resigned last week following a meeting at which the group discussed a petition filed against police Chief Philip Consentino.

Hazlett said he resigned for personal reasons. There was a death in Sapia's family, and he could not be reached for comment last week.

The town's attorney, Sumner Kalman, said yesterday he was unsure how the committee would fill the vacancies or continue to operate with only one member, Richard Smith.

"I think it's going to be crippled at this point," he said.

There are no state laws governing the committee, Kalman said.

The town ordinance that governs the committee only says the group would appoint a new member to serve until the next election if someone resigns.

It's unclear what will happen to the petition filed against Consentino by resident Marc Acciard. The petition alleges Consentino operated the Atkinson Police Charitable Fund out of the Police Department using town employees.

The fund was created in 2008 and primarily benefits seniors in the community. In addition to serving as police chief, Consentino is head of the town's Elderly Affairs Department.

On April 2, Consentino sent a letter to Hazlett requesting that LaFrance not take part in a hearing on Acciard's petition scheduled for April 13.

Consentino alleged that LaFrance had filed numerous complaints with the state attorney general's office and the Board of Selectmen.

LaFrance declined to say whether she ever complained about Consentino to the attorney general or selectmen.

She said last week that the letter contained false information and that she did not intend to recuse herself from a discussion on Acciard's petition.


Anonymous said...

My opinion.

The selectmen should be informed that they have a duty to correct the problems. Should they fail to do so. A petition to remove both the Chief of Police and the Director of Elderly Affairs and because NH law does not provide specifics for a DEF the BOS has that responsibility under statute.
This will be a real mess with lots of witnesses. I would bet "someone" retires real quickly to make the question moot!

Just my humble opinion

Anonymous said...

Another town official bullied into submission by an out of control police chief.

Anonymous said...

How much will this cost?

How soon before someone bails?

How many 5ths. will we hear?

What is the real inside joke everyone is missing?

Anonymous said...

This is why no one wants to volunteer or participate in town politics. I know I wouldn't want to have a different position than the chief. It's not worth the hassle. Ask Joyce.

Anonymous said...

Wow! If this gets outside of Atkinson and into the State Courts there is a wider mess. The EA ius a Selectman "creation" they are responsible. Secret lists, privacy issues, in the hands of private companies? Ethics? RTN ? money? All secret projects by agents of the government. The town should give this careful thought before it gets out of hand. Outside the town this grows into a hydra.

Anonymous said...

This is a disaster that will not be hidden by the usual town board of selectmen tactics of ignoring, waffling, and propaganda.

This is a disaster you do not cover up.

This is a disaster that will stay in everyones
memory FOREVER.

You undermined the conflict of interest committee and let loose a storm of corruption on the people of Atkinson. Your hope is the thefts and intimidations will be allowed for decades more.

You are sorely mistaken. You crossed a line and a world of hurt is on it's way.

No one is going to buy into hack propaganda from the BOS or Committee Chairmen or other town talking heads. No one is going to forgive or forget.

Even the perpetrators and beneficiaries of this corruption know IT WILL NEVER BE FORGOT. It is a permanent stain on the honor of the town!

Anonymous said...

Well it's official.....Cosentino is now the supreme ruler of Atkinson

Long live the King

Anonymous said...

He's just going to fall harder now and take more people with him.

Anonymous said...

The Tribune loves a good mud fight but can't get their facts straight. No such commitee named Ethics Panel exists in Atkinson. Can't they try and get a few details right? Bottom of the bird cage newspaper.

Anonymous said...

That's not the point.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what it's called if it's defunct.

This stuff should not have gone to that committee to begin with, it should have been fixed by the BoS before thigns got this bad.

When someone files a complaint with this board, it's a last ditch effort to get something addressed.

MAcciard said...

Could that simply be poetic license on the part of the reporter? After all it used to be called the Code of Ethics committee, until they decided that Ethics weren't as important as "conflicts of interest". Which by the way, they routinely don't find those either, even when they are laid out in plain english, or when the Court tells them.

MAcciard said...

Here are some of the problems with this;

1.)Selectmen have sole legal responsibility for general assistance, and for keeping it private.

No authority to divulge personal information to a town dept. head, or a corporation with no town oversight.

2.)Selectmen have fiduciary responsibility for all monies in town possession.

They turned police donation acct. over to a private corporation with no town oversight to do with what they wanted. That money should have been put under the management of the Trustees of the Trust funds, along with all other special funds.

3.)Taxpayers pay town employees to work for the town, not to work for a business that is neither owned, operated, nor is overseen by the town.

4.)Chief said at town meeting tat it only happened once, for about 15 minutes, and the town was reimbursed $15.24. Do the dispatchers make $60.96/hr.? Highly unlikely that it only happened once, if that was the case, the film would not be necessary.

5.)Elderly Affairs customer list is and always has been proprietary. It is a town owned resource that the chief has never even shared with the selectmen, but it is now being used by a company to market and fund raise with no town oversight, thus opening the door for other non profit corporations to do the same.

6.) The apparent investigation, and public document dump especially coming on the heels of the COI committee's implosion can have no other purpose than to bully and intimidate one of the sole remaining members. This is not what the resources of the police dept. were intended for, even though they have routinely been abused in this fashion in the past. This abusive behavior must stop, that, too, is the selectmen's responsibility.

I will post more when I have more time.

Thank you for your attention

Anonymous said...

What about the remaining member? Is he above reproach or will he also be told to go packing?

Anonymous said...

How about a class action lawsuit to remove him?

Anonymous said...

Not Smith....

MAcciard said...

Let me also make absolutely clear;

I am not in favor of ending, or curtailing the town's elderly affairs dept. I never have been. Yes, I have been told that some of you have been told that by the chief, but if he said that to you it was a lie.

That program has been repeatedly voted upon by the voters, and that is where debate ends.

What I DO want is to see it transparent. We should not have to take the chief's word for the number of rides given, and residents served by the dept. We should have those figures and that data just as we have it for other town depts. It should not be run out of the PD! There is an inherent conflict there, and too many times, the good will and general political support of the elderly in town has been used to justify outrageous abuses of authority in other matters.

I believe the town would be better served to have it run out of the community center, and combined with all the other senior services there, to make one homogenous, comprehensive dept. This would better serve the elderly who use the program, while maintaining it's integrity, and transparency.

For all of the chief's past bluster about the budget committee, me, Brian Boyle, Jane Cole, Janine Sawyer, or any of his other past critics, trying to cut or end elderly affairs, NONE of that has ever been true. NONE of us have ever proposed that. What we asked for on the budget committee from 2001- 2005 was verifiable numbers on how many people use the service, and how many rides are given. The chief refused to disclose even this rudimentary information to the committee, in contravention of State Law, until Bill Anderson told us in 2005, that 61 people used the program, and 564 rides given. Since that time, the chief has given a number every year, but there has never been any verification of those numbers, and those numbers were largely inexplicable within the confines of the budget.

My complaint was about using town paid for labor and equipment for non- town owned purposes. It really is that simple.

Anonymous said...

Everyone's talking about this and the conclusion is the same.

Where there's smoke, there's fire.

He looks bad.

Anonymous said...

This whole issue needs to go back to Terry Knowles in the AGs office. When she originally submitted her recommendations, she was (as I recall) insistant that the PD and Elderly Affairs should be two SEPARATE departments. Oops...didn't quite do it right.

Anonymous said...

So call her.

You'll be the next victim.

Anonymous said...

Important to note that the BOS and the AG will expose people if they complain about anything.

I think this is the worst thing they could do with somebody like him. You really have to question their lack of ethics. This confirms that they are all in bed together.

Anonymous said...

What's a "DEF"? Can we please stop with all the acronyms? BOS...FOIA...COI...CIC...JMHO...

Enough. Plain english.

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't be "poetic license" if they got your facts wrong, Mark. There is absolutely no research done on the part of the Tribune reporters. They take what everyone says at face value and print it as fact.

Why not get both sides...print them both...and let the reader decide. Crazy idea, huh?

Prime example was that Mr. Abate overdose death. The paper took everything the sister had to say as truth and did no research into any of the man's back story, past police involvements, criminal history, drug use, records of sale from the businesses he was said to have owned, etc. It was far easier to make it look like the Atkinson Police did not do their jobs. However, when it came out that he died of an overdose, it was buried on page four, in a small article, against the fold, so that when you turned the pages quickly, or weren't looking for the article went right past it.

The the Blog...has a big problem with "poetic license" and not putting forth BOTH sides of an issue to spawn debate and discussion and to let the people decide for themselves. Why, it runs contrary to the agendas of both entities.

Anonymous said...

Why, its the
little Rooster.

Anonymous said...

Have you met him? Mark never gets his facts wrong. Could be why even you, refer to them as facts.


Anonymous said...

"Prime example was that Mr. Abate overdose death. The paper took everything the sister had to say as truth and did no research into any of the man's back story, past police involvements, criminal history, drug use, records of sale from the businesses he was said to have owned, etc."

It was supposed to about his death, not his past. His past didn't matter at that time, it had no bearing. The death should have been addressed separately.

Anonymous said...

Dear Atkinson Selectmen:

The town government you lead is an utter and complete joke.

Your police chief runs your town; when boards come up against him they disolve. Yet, you are the ones that are supposed to manage him.

How's that working out?

Anonymous said...

What about former Selectmen that vote when they have a conflict and should recuse themselves?

Whether voting for pay raises for yourself or lying to your fellow committee members when they ask if you're in a lawsuit with a party to the complaint, it's all bad.

These are the kind of people the current selectmen are defending and keeping around.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen so few people volunteer before. I've worked at companies where turnover was a problem. The problem always started at the top. The top of this dung heap is led by one corrupt crazy man with a badge. I sleep so much better at night not owing that man any favors. I'll pass on the free rides for an obligation thank you very much. You can try sucking up to me but I'm on to your scam.


Anonymous said...

Then there was three or should I say 4 running this town. Three selectment and a "Bully with a Badge" police chief running this town. No volunteers for committees because they run them out of town if they don't line up with the other four.

Great town Atkinson with four people runnning it and the CON-sentino as the "Don". Corruption at its best.

How do you like it so far taxpayers?

It doesn't matter if It's Polito, Sapia, Sullivan, and Childs or Bennett, Friel and Childs as selectmen, the CON-sentino pulls all of their strings.

Your vote counts, so vote them out and cut CON-sentino's "Snake Head" off.

Corruption is corruption no matter who's name is on it as long as CON-sentino is around. HE IS THE PROBLEM.


Anonymous said...

You think it's bad now? Wait untill baldwin comes back from his oversea's tour of gaurd duty, the cheif will give him the reigns.
No joke, the cycle will continue.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hey, I heard the other day that Phil was getting an award from the state for his elderly affairs program. Anyone else hear that?

Anonymous said...

Yes, we now have a celebrity in Atkinson. Accolades and awards to our Elderly Affairs Citizen of the year.
Belongs in the "You can't make this up.

Anonymous said...

CON-sentino should get an award for the corruption he brings to the town and for the corruption he covers up in this town.

CON-sentino needs a demand letter to retire NOW. Better yet a demand letter to resign.