PLAISTOW — Atkinson Selectman Harold Morse pleaded no contest Monday to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from an incident in September that led to his arrest.
Morse received a $300 fine, suspended for six months, on the condition of good behavior during his trial in 10th Circuit Court.
A no contest plea is when a defendant admits no guilt, but chooses not to dispute a criminal charge.
Morse's attorney, Gerard LaFlamme, asked Judge Sharon DeVries to accept the plea "in the interest of justice in this case."
In "this particular case, I think this is warranted," LaFlamme said, referencing the legal definition of disorderly conduct, which states a person must leave a "public way" if told to do so by a police officer.
Prosecutor Jill Cook agreed not to prosecute Morse on a second charge of resisting arrest, for which he could have faced up to a year in jail.
"I think this sounds like a resolution that makes sense under the circumstances," DeVries said as she accepted Morse's plea.
Morse and his wife, Christine Lewis Morse, declined to comment on the case. LaFlamme also declined to speak to the media.
On Sept. 16, Morse began directing traffic on Route 121 near the intersection with Route 111 in Hampstead, where a construction project was underway. When an officer directing traffic asked him to stop, Morse refused, ultimately leading to his arrest.It became clear during the trial that the construction company working on the road was Lewis Builders, an Atkinson-based company where Morse is the general manager. His wife is president of the company.