CONFLICT OF INTEREST COMMITTEE DECISION
The Conflict of Interest Committee was created to help control the ethical behavior of all public officials, town employees, and school districts. The Committee is designed to help take the appropriate steps to maintain the highest level of “Code of Conduct” and the integrity of it’s government members, so that they perform their duties without conflicts between their private interests, and those of the citizens that they serve.
The Committee had a complaint issued by Petitioner Mr.Leon Artus, and was scheduled for a hearing on 02/24/2015. At that time, the Respondent Mr. Phillip Consentino stated on video and also recording to the COI committee that both his son, and his wife had submitted their resignations prior to his vote on the Police contract.
The Selectmen meeting was on December 1, 2014 for the first motion that all union and non-union police employees would get the same rate of pay increase. The second Selectmen meeting was on December 15, 2014, a motion was made to revise the motion made on December 1, 2014 to reflect that the union, and non union would still get the same pay rate as stated in the union contract, except step increases are only for the certified Police Officers.
The committee advised Mr. Consentino that his hearing dated 02/24/2015 would close until further proof of the resignations were submitted to the COI committee for review. The committee received a copy of a resignation letter from Mr. Consentino on his son Officer David Consentino one dated 08/09/2014 at the 02/24/2015 hearing. The board was still pending a copy of his wife's (Joanne Consentino) resignation letter from her position, as a police dispatcher. The next day the Chairperson Ray Fournier received from Barbara Snicer assistant to the Town
Administrator, another copy of David Consentino's resignation letter dated 09/01/2014, and Joanne Consentino's resignation letter dated 01/26/2015. The Committee requests clarification from Mr. Bill Innes (Town Administrator) on which resignation letter was correct on David Consentino, and was advised to contact the bookkeeper. The COI committee scheduled another hearing on 03/05/2015 for review of all letters received. Neither Mr. Leon Artus, nor Mr. Philip Consentino attended this public hearing.
The COI has voted 4-0, 1 members have recused themselves from the vote. The committee suggests that Phillip Consentino has violated the Town of Atkinson’s Ordinance Section V Prohibited Conduct:
This committee finds: It is a violation of this code for any member to
1. In his or her official capacity as a Selectman, introduce discuss, deliberate, approve or vote upon any matter in which he or she or any member of his or her family has an interest known to said member being his wife (Joanne Consentino) who was a police dispatcher at the time of the Selectmen meetings on December 01,2014, and December 15, 2014.
2. As a Selectman, knowingly enter into any discussion, testimony or deliberation without first, publicly and for the record, stating all dealings, interests, relationships, and possible conflicts that may exist between said member and his or her family, the principals and the issue under deliberation, as may be known by the member, who is his wife the police dispatcher (Joanne Consentino).
3. As a Selectman, knowingly participate in town business without disclosing all potential conflicts of interest, with his wife (Joanne Consentino) who was a police dispatcher at the time of the Selectmen meetings on December 01, 2014 and December 15, 2014.
The committee does believe that Mr. Phillip Consentino should have stated his FAMILY conflicts publicly, and for the record, and request if anyone has an issue or opinions on his discussions, deliberation, and voting on Police pay raises as his wife Joanne Consentino was still employed on both Selectmen meetings dated December 01, 2014 and December 15, 2014, and would receive a monetary benefit from this vote. At both Selectmen meetings, he did not
recuse himself from voting on any monetary benefits that involved his family.
Pursuant to RSA 31:39a, violating this code shall be grounds for recommending disciplinary action to be taken by the Board of Selectman if found by the majority vote on the Committee.
This is the second violation of the Town of Atkinson Code of Ethics in 2 months, by Mr. Phillip Consentino. The Board of Selectmen knowingly allowed Mr. Consentino to vote while his family member was employed by Atkinson Police Department. Mr. Consentino was Chief of Police for many years, he should recuse himself as a Selectmen from any police matters while family was employed, he should also leave the room, until which time the vote has been processed and recorded.
The committee recommends removal of Phillip Consentino, by the other Selectmen, or Mr. Consentino should be allowed to resign.
Failure to comply with Section V Prohibited Conduct, the Conflict of Interest Committee shall petition and file with Superior Court and retain an Attorney utilizing the Town of Atkinson Legal Line.
Per the Conflict of Interest Ordinance, Section VII, Paragraph G the Selectmen have 45 days from the date of finding to act on the Committee's decision. Please see attached Conflict of Interest ordinance.
FINALLY they recognize his multiple violations of the ordinance over his tenure as selectman. Their decision even echoed the words of Rockingham Superior Court Judge Kenneth McHugh who said it appears Consentino believes the town is his to do what he want with, regardless of law.
So, Consentino, fired for serially sexually harassing a female employee under his command, has ignored town law AGAIN.
HERE IS WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING;
The current board of selectmen having just been found in violation of the ordinance along with Consentino, last month, CAN NOT VOTE ON PUNISHMENT FOR CONSENTINO, because to do so would be a further violation of the Ordinance and would open them up to removal from office.
MY GOD, what an extraordinary path of wreckage this one corrupt official has left in his wake. For those of you who are unaware of Mr. Consentino's tenure with the Town of Atkinson, here is a brief synopsis;
Appointed to acting chief in 1978. in 1980 just after being promoted to Chief, selectman Wayne Peak discovered that apparently Consentino, as chief, was giving monies collected for reports and such to the Policeman's association, rather than to the town bookkeeper as law required. Now when this was revealed, most normal people being caught would have said, "Oh my God, I am sorry, did not realize, will turn that money over immediately" Not Our Ego maniacal Chief, his words were "I won't stand here and take this" "My name is a pure as the wind driven snow" This led to competing lawsuits between the two for the next 6 years. Costing the town and its insurers hundreds of thousands in legal fees and settlement costs..
Then, shortly after this ended he fired the Police Lt. and CLAIMED the he wiped out 12 years of database records on the way out.(The PD did not have computers in 1979, just another lie)
Then there were more scandals, with Officer Buco, Selectman Fred Childs. the infamous spitting incident in Town Hall, At one point Phil was showing to people in town, a Police record on Selectman Childs to undermine his re election campaign. Not only seedy, but ILLEGAL, not that Phil cares about legality apparently.
Then came Phil parking his cruiser outside Steve Lewis' office on Main St., blue lights going for almost an hour while he screamed at Lewis in his office, threatening him, This was witnessed by the County Registrar Cathy Stacy, allegedly.
Then in 2003 he gets himself elected selectman, making himself his own boss. And the circus began. He kept his ego in check for almost a year, then he voted as selectman, to approve his own request as Chief, to withdraw $2500 from the Donation account. When challenged by Mr. Acciard telling him he could not do that, Phil responded "I can do whatever I want, it is my town". This led Mr. Acciard to file a complaint with the conflict of interest (COI) committee. Then chairman, Dick Smith said in a meeting, "But it is the chief", as if he was above the law. They found no violation, Mr. Acciard appealed to Rockingham Superior Court, and the Court had some harsh words for both Consentino and the COI committee.
Then there was the tower scandal, the Town that hates Halloween, when it made National News that Consentino bragged that his men would turn cars with Mass. plates back at the border, and had been doing so for years. It is not every day a police chief admits violating the Constitution.
Labor actions against the Town and Consentino by Officer Michael Rivera, and Gary Lorden, where the NHPELRB ORDERED Consentino to "cease and desist" from bullying, harassing, and intimidating his officers.
Then came the civil suits; Phil was sued for harassment for following Acciard, his wife, and son through town, making verbal threats, stopping them to visually inspect their vehicles, using his official position to investigate Acciard and his business. Phil called Acciard's customers and suppliers and told them he was "under investigation by the Atkinson PD" This was a lie.
There was the civil suit by the Grants, by Acciard, by Artus, Lewis, Brownfield, etc. In the midst of all of this Phil tried to get Billy Baldwin an extra $2,000/mo or so, by claiming that his base pay while deployed was his total compensation. More sleaziness.
Brian Boyle, as selectman, when Billy got orders to Kuwait, motioned to advance him $5,900 so that he would not lose money while deployed. This was exceedingly generous, as the law merely requires his job be kept open. All Boyle demanded in return was Billy's Military "leave and earnings" Statement. his monthly paycheck stub, if you will. Billy, refused to provide it, providing, instead, a "commanders base pay letter" claiming that was all the town needed(NOT his decision to make) Consentino was in the selectman's meeting ever week demanding $515/week that he alleged Billy was not getting. This was based upon the base pay rather than total compensation, in other words this was a lie. The FACT was that Billy's total compensation was only approximately $400/mo. different from his town pay.
This track record of dishonesty, violations of law, and ordinances, violations of Court orders (he was found in Contempt of Court, by Rockingham Superior court), the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in legal costs and settlements, ALL in service to one man's ego. The COI committee is correct he NEEDS to be removed from office. Any normal person would have kept a low profile after being fired for serially sexually harassing a woman young enough to be his daughter, but not Phil. This alone should tell you all you need to know about him. He probably fits the definition of a narcissistic Sociopath.