Looks like there might be trouble on the horizon for Alderman at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur as a result of his filing false charges with law enforcement against various members of the Manchester Police Department. When asked by Girard at Large whether or not the investigation’s findings would be reported to the Professional Conduct Committee of the state’s bar association, Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati said the office was quote “aware of its professional obligations.” In discussion with us, Agati explained that any attorney who discovers the unethical conduct of another attorney is obligated to report that conduct to the Professional Conduct Committee, which is part of the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Attorney Discipline System. While the A G decided not to proceed with criminal charges because it was uncertain it could prove Levasseur intended the false charges to be investigated, oh my head, the report states quote “while he (Levasseur) may not have intended to prompt an investigation, it is clear that he knew or should have known that his email would lead to that result.” End quote. They called his allegations quote “particularly troubling” end quote and said it led to a quote “waste of investigative resources. One would expect that an attorney and public official would be cognizant of those concerns and be measured in his communications.” End quote. The Professional Conduct Committee has several disciplinary tools at its disposal up to and including the revocation of an attorney’s license to practice law.
Meanwhile, several aldermen contacted by Girard at Large were reluctant to comment on the matter. Most said they’d not yet seen or read the report. One thing we found interesting in our discussions was that while there seemed to be a reluctance to deal with the matter, there also seemed to be a safety in numbers mentality. Nobody we spoke with wanted to be out front on the issue, but most said if someone else got the ball rolling, they too would step forward. One alderman we spoke with wanted the City Solicitor to weigh in on the matter before potentially invoking the city charter’s Conduct Committee to deal with it. We shall see what happens and continue to question. Through our conversations, we have learned that Board Chairman Dan O’Neil, to whom Levasseur’s been sucking up to mightily of late, may be the single biggest impediment to the board taking any action with one source telling Girard at Large O’Neil simply does not want it addressed by the board. Frankly, if I were on that board, my first and only concern would be how would those falsely accused by Levasseur would feel if the board took no action and what message would taking no action send to those wronged, the police department and personnel in general and the rest of those in city government. Being worried about Levasseur is being worried about the wrong thing.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Manchester Central High School is now without a principal and the search for a new one is underway. The sudden retirement of Principal Ron Mailhot was announced to faculty and parents yesterday in an email from Superintendent Debra Livingston. Assistant Principal Joe O’Neil will serve as Acting Principal until the appointment of an Interim Principal which Livingston’s email said will be March third. That tells me they have someone in mind to carry the school through the end of the year. Might we see the re-return of former Principal John Rist who served as Interim Principal at West after the sudden departure of Mary Ellen McGorry? Anyway, while the retirement will come as a surprise to parents, students and some staff members, it wasn’t a surprise to several district officials who confirmed our report that Mailhot had been placed on paid administrative leave last Friday pending the investigation of a complaint made against Mailhot, a complaint the administration presented to the School Board in non-public session on Monday night. While we do not yet know what the complaint was, officials have confirmed it was not criminal in nature and did not involve any sort of threatening behavior toward a student. Mailhot, whose retirement is effective March 1st, has been with the district for twenty three years.
While we’re talking about things at Central, we’ll share this bit of good news: Tri – M, Central‘s music honor society, is holding a concert on Tuesday, February eighteenth to benefit the New Horizon‘s food pantry. Our good friend Charlie Sherman is fighting the good fight over there, but is really struggling with diminished resources and increased need. Tri-M’s stepping up to help on behalf of the Little Green by offering a top rate performance for beans…literally. Admission is simply non-perishable food or a cash donation which will go directly to New Horizons. The concert will be held at the Grace Episcopal Church at the corner of Pine and Lowell streets and start at six thirty on the evening of the 18th.
Couple of quick notes from the State House in Concord for those who’ve asked me about the status of a couple of bills. House Bill 15 8 9, a gun control bill we featured in our Political Buzz with Kimberly Morin segment on Monday went down to a sound defeat earlier this week. And yesterday’s hearing on House Bill 15 0 8, a bill that would remove Common Core from the state, was rescheduled for February twentieth. The hearing will start at eleven a m and be held in Room 207 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.