Police Unions’ Leaders Blast Levasseur Over Derogatory Comments

Published at 3:30 PM on January 9, 2013

Includes the letter as sent to the Mayor

In a two page letter to Mayor Ted Gatsas, Manchester Police Patrolman’s Association President Steven Maloney and Manchester Association of Police Supervisors’ President Shawn Fournier blasted Alderman at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur for comments made in a December 27, 2012 email to Police Chief David Mara.

In the letter, which was distributed by the City Clerk’s Office to the aldermen at Gatsas’ request this morning, the union presidents took square aim at Levasseur’s comments condeming “how hot headed a particular group of officers are as the reputation of your officers has been well-establised.”

“Alderman Levasseur came across as a paranoid person with zero respect for the men and women of the Manchester Police Department.”  Saying they were “extremely troubled by the harmful works of Alderman Levasseur,” they urged the mayor to “look at the words he chooses when describing the men and women of the Manchester Police Department.”  They claimed that Levasseur’s “true feelings were apparent for all to read” and said their offcers “have to rely on the trust of the public every day to do a dangerous job effectively.”

“Alderman Levasseur has crossed a serious line and should be admonished for his actions,” they wrote, demanding he be “made to explain what he meant” by the statement that ‘the reputation of your officers (has) been well established.”  They wrote that every member of the department deserved an apology and that Levasseur should recuse himself from voting on any business concerning the department because his “bias” against them was clear in the email.

They closed their letter requesting the mayor and aldermen “publicly affirm the trust they have in the hard working men and women of the Manchester Police Department in the next public session.”

In conversation with Girard at Large, Mayor Gatsas did say he expected the matter would be brought up at the January 15 meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.  It was not likely, he said, that it would be on the agenda, but would probably be brought up under new business.  Alderman at-Large Dan O’Neil told Girard at Large that the mayor had made him aware of the letter, but that he had not read it and, therefore, would not comment.

While neither would predict what, if any, action the board would take in response to the unions’ requests, Gatsas said he “surely will express confidence in the department and let Manchester’s citizens know they’re safe, that the department is doing the best job possible, and that I support them and Chief Mara.”  O’Neil said “the men and women of the Manchester Police Department have my 125% support.”

Several aldermen Girard at Large spoke with had either not yet read either Levasseur’s email to the chief or the unions’ letter to the mayor.  Others clearly wanted to be as far away from this as possible.

This will get worse before it gets better.  Stay tuned.


NOTE:  I sent this email regarding their letter to set the record straight.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Letter from patrolman’s and supervisor’s unions
From: <“>rich@girardatlarge.com>;
Date: Wed, January 09, 2013 2:17 pm
To: “David Mara” <“>DMARA@manchesternh.gov>;
Cc: “Matthew Normand” <“>MNORMAND@manchesternh.gov>;, “Samantha Piatt”

I’ve been unable to reach the signatories on the above referenced letter to Mayor Gatsas regarding the conduct of Alderman Levasseur.  Therefore, I am asking that you forward this email as there are some items in the letter that need to be corrected and I wish to ensure the public record is accurate.
The copy of the email posted on Oh My BLOG! at www.girardatlarge.com was posted by me, not Alderman Levasseur.  In fact, I posted that email on Thursday, January 3, 2013, well before the article appeared in the New Hampshire Sunday News’ City Hall Column.  I also read it in its entirety on the air that day and discussed the matter with my audience.  Other than comments by members of our Web site, I am the only one who posts material to the blog.
Should you or either signatory of the letter wish to discuss the matter with me,  please feel free to call.
Thank you,
ATTENTION Clerk Normand!  Would you please forward this note to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen?  Thank you.

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