Published DateBELMONT — After investigating a complaint filed last fall by current Selectboard candidate George Condodemetraky and aided by former Selectman David Morse with the N.H. Atty. General regarding allegations of criminal misconduct in the town's administration, the AG determined there was no evidence of criminal activity.
According to a letter from Atty. Geoffrey W.R. Ward of the Criminal Justice Bureau to Condodemetraky that was dated November 14, he determined that Town Administrator K. Jeanne Beaudin and Administrative Assistant Cary Legace didn't conspire to falsify documentation that would permit Beaudin's ex-husband to stay on the town's health insurance when the couple divorced in 1999.
"I have reviewed the materials you provided Investigator (Richard) Tracy as well as his report regarding his meeting with you and David Morse. Based on that review, I have determined there is no evidence to support a reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct of the part of Ms. Beaudin or Ms. Legace." wrote Ward.
The criminal charges that Condodemetraky and Morse asked the A.G. to investigate were RSA 641:3 (Unsworn Falsification), RSA 641:7 (Tampering with Public Records), and RSA 643: 1 (Official Oppression).
Condodemetraky and Morse reached out to the A.G.'s Office in September.
According to the notes Tracy made during his interview with Condodemetraky and Morse in Condodemetraky's basement office on October 2, and made available to The Daily Sun following a Right-To-Know request, Condodemetraky told Tracy he believed Beaudin's actions that kept her ex-husband on her family plan insurance after their divorce in 1999 were done without the knowledge of the Board of Selectmen and that its members were never notified.
Morse also told Tracy that Beaudin wrote a letter of appeal to the town's insurer, the Local Government Center, requesting her husband be reinstated on her insurance and that Legace wrote a letter of support for Beaudin's appeal "by passing herself off as the town's benefits administrator, which she was not."
When Tracy asked Morse if he had seen the letters, Morse said he hadn't but he was aware of the them and that they were in Beaudin's confidential personnel file. At that point, Morse suggested that Tracy interview Town Accountant and Benefits Administrator Brenda Paquette who he said had seen the letters and told Morse about their existence. Morse and Paquette are in a relationship and live together.
The triggering incident that caused Condodemetraky and Morse to reach out to the A.G. occurred in 2011 when Selectman Jon Pike threatened to sue the town because he wasn't allowed to mimic Beaudin's ex-spouse and stay on his ex-wife's insurance policy at town expense after they divorced in 2007. Pike's ex-wife is the elected Town Clerk-Tax Collector Cynthia DeRoy.
Instead, after the divorce Pike was allowed to get his own plan under the same umbrella policy under the provisions of the federal COBRA act and paid for the premiums himself, not knowing at the time that he could have stayed on DeRoy's plan because the town had no real policy regarding health insurance and divorce at that time. The settlement reached between Pike and the town on June 6, 2011 was that Pike got $11,100 and was allowed to stay on town's health insurance plan for free until he turned 65, which was in the summer of 2012. The amount of the settlement is in a public document.
Pike didn't participate in the June 2011 settlement discussion because it involved him and Morse didn't participate because he and the Paquette are a couple. After consulting with two former selectmen, Selectman Ron Cormier inked the agreement with Pike.
One of the missing pieces of the puzzle was how Pike learned that Beaudin was able to keep her ex-husband on her family policy after their divorce in 1999 and not make him get his own policy under the COBRA act.
Morse told Tracy he believed Beaudin told Pike about her keeping her ex-husband on her insurance for an unknown period of time after their divorce.
Morse told Tracy he learned the information that ultimately lead him to Beaudin's arrangement with her ex-husband in October of 2010 when he saw an $800 payment to Pike on the town's manifest for Pike's health insurance. A selectman at the time, Morse said he was not consulted or informed of any issues with Pike or his insurance.
He said he requested a meeting with Beaudin and Town Attorney Laura Spector where he was told that Pike had threatened a lawsuit if the town didn't pay him back the money he paid to keep insurance under COBRA.
The discussions about Pike continued for six months until an agreement was reached in June of 2011.
Morse also told Tracy that the town allowed Highway Department Administrator Jim Fortin to keep his ex-wife on the town's insurance for three years after their divorce. Since then, said Morse to Tracy, the town adopted a insurance plan for divorced spouses that requires all of them to get their own plans through COBRA but voted to grandfather Fortin's ex-wife.
Tracy's notes reflect that Morse felt that Beaudin blamed Paquette for having to pay Pike because Paquette allegedly didn't understand the benefits plan at the time of Pike's divorce that would have allowed Pike to maintain his COBRA status under N.H. state law until he was 65 because he was over 55 when he and DeRoy divorced.
In the statement Morse made to Tracy in October of 2012, he said that Paquette had been reprimanded by Beaudin for providing him with confidential information.
The Daily Sun confirmed last week with current Selectman's Vice Chair Ron Cormier that Paquette has now been placed on paid administrative leave. Cormier declined further comment, saying it is a personnel matter.
The Daily Sun also learned the Town of Belmont itself got the information about the investigation when it filed a Right-To-Know request for the notes of the investigation after being sent a courtesy copy of the three-page letter sent to Condodemetraky on November 14.
Morse told Tracy he believed Beaudin felt she could keep her ex-husband on her family plan because it didn't cost the town's taxpayers any additional money because she was on a family plan. He said Pike and DeRoy were on a two-person plan and it did cost the taxpayers money to keep Pike on DeRoy's plan.
To further complicate things, Paquette's ex-husband James has filed suit in Belknap County Superior Court against the town of Belmont for not giving him the same consideration as Pike and Beaudin's ex-husband when he and Paquette divorced in 2006. The suit is ongoing and is scheduled for trial in early 2014.