The fallout over the false accusations made by Alderman at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur continues as former Ward 10 Alderman Phil Greazzo has filed a complaint with the city, invoking a provision of the charter enabling citizens to act. Greazzo publicly inquired as to the status of several complaints he filed with Mayor Ted Gatsas in November, noting that Levasseur said he would meet with the mayor to discuss the charges in January. “Did that happen or was that another lie” asked Greazzo.
In light of the NH Attorney Report finding six separate charges made against various members of the Manchester Police Department, including Chief David Mara, Assistant Chief Nick Willard, and Manchester Police Patrolman’s Association President Steven Maloney among others, Greazzo added to the list of charges he made last November in which he said that Levasseur had violated the charter. Greazzo’s letter to the clerk invoked charter section 9.04 which reads as follows:
SECTION 9.04 CONDUCT BOARD.
A conduct board is established and shall consist of five (5) members and two (2) alternates to: issue advisory opinions to the board of mayor and aldermen or school committee, if requested to do so by said board or committee, concerning this code and the actions of city officials; Interpret this code; investigate violations of this code if requested to do so by city officials, written and attested complaints by citizens of the city or those doing business with the city, if it finds basis for such complaints, and issue reports after such investigations to the board of mayor and aldermen which may take action after such reports if it deems action necessary and, recommend ordinances to carry out the purposes of this code.
Greazzo believes invoking this section requires the conduct board convene to investigate his complaints, as he states in his letter, which we’ve reproduced below. At the time of publication, Alderman Levasseur had not replied to our request for comment, though we will post it upon receipt. For his part, Greazzo said the complaint speaks for itself and he believes the board has greater authority to act against any of its members than City Solicitor Tom Clark has publicly stated. If the board fails to act, Greazzo said he was prepared to take additional steps.
Girard at Large will, of course, continue to provide additional information as it comes to light.
Greazzo’s complaint as submitted on February 21, 2014
To: City of Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen
From: Phil Greazzo, 139 Parker St., Manchester NH, 03102
Under Section 9.04 of the city charter, I bring the following complaint of charter violations. Please consider this my “written and attested complaint by a citizen of the city” under City Charter, section 9.04. As such, a Conduct Board will be required but currently does not have the necessary members. Please advise the Mayor to bring forward the necessary nominations to fill those vacancies.
Sections 8.08, 8.15 a) , 9.01, 9.03 g), of the charter have been violated by Alderman Levasseur.
Violation against Section 8.08 – Failure to honor the oath, charter, and policies of the city.
Violation against Section 8.15 a) – Failure to comply with the charter.
Violation against Section 9.01 – Unethical and Dishonest conduct
Violation against 9.03 g) attempting to; influence the official acts of a city official, interfere with the performance by such officers of their duties.
Per Section 9.04 the Conduct Board is required to “investigate violations of this code if requested to do so by city officials, written and attested complaints by citizens of the city,…if it finds basis for such complaints…issue reports after such investigations to the board of mayor and aldermen which may take action…”
I have attached the relevant sections of the charter and state laws that pertain to this matter.
Section 8.08 Every person elected or appointed to any city office shall, before assuming the duties of office, take the oath of office prescribed by law.
The City of Manchester Oath of office – I, (state your name)/ do hereby swear and affirm that I will fulfill my responsibilities as ALDERMAN to the best of my ability and in accordance with the City Charter, ordinances and policies.
RSA 92:2 Oath Required. – No person chosen or appointed to any public office or to any position where an oath is required, under any law, shall exercise such office or position or perform any act therein until he shall make and subscribe the oath or declaration as prescribed by part 2, article 84 of the constitution of New Hampshire, and any such person who violates said oath after taking the same shall be forthwith dismissed from the office or position involved.
Chapter 42:1 Oath Required. – Every town officer shall make and subscribe the oath or declaration as prescribed by part 2, article 84 of the constitution of New Hampshire and any such person who violates said oath after taking the same shall be forthwith dismissed from the office involved.Source. RS 35:1. CS 37:1. GS 38:1. GL 41:1. PS 44:1. PL 48:1. RL 60:1. RSA
42:1. 1969, 372:4, eff. Aug. 31, 1969.
Section 8.15 a) it shall be the responsibility of all elected officials to ensure the enforcement of and compliance with this charter
Section 9.01 Declaration of Policy: Honest government, ethical conduct, the avoidance of conflicts of interest and public perception of ethical and honest conduct of public affairs are essential. This code is adopted to further these purposes.
Section 9.03 g) Non – Interference : The board of mayor and aldermen, the various boards and commissions and the board of school committee shall act in all matters as a body and shall not seek individually to influence the official acts of any city official, or to direct or request, except in writing, the appointment or removal of any person to or from office; or to interfere in any way with the performance by such officers of their duties.
Chapter 49-C:13 Removal of Mayor, Aldermen, and Councilors. – I. The elected body may, on specific charges and after due notice and hearing, at any time remove the mayor or one of its own members for cause, including but not limited to prolonged absence from or other inattention to duties, crime or misconduct in office, or as specified in the charter. II. Any vacancy occasioned by removal under this section shall be filled in the manner provided in the charter. Source. 1991, 304:11, eff. Aug. 23, 1991.