Keenan's side find it 'preposterous' for Dunn to say chief wouldn't have been fired for 'infidelity'

GILFORD — In the wake of Town Administrator Scott Dunn telling the state's largest newspaper that former Police Chief Kevin Keenan was not going to be fired for "infidelity", Keenan's lawyer said the statement was "preposterous."

"When I read what Mr. Dunn said in the (N.H.) Union Leader I wondered if we were on the same planet and talking about the same case," said Laconia attorney Phil McLaughlin.

McLaughlin said the allegations and insinuations made by Dunn that the internal investigation conducted for the Selectboard by Municipal Resources Inc. of Meredith was about issues other than "his relationship with another officer" were baseless. He indicated that any other words that might be used were just "variations of the (same) theme."

When interviewed about his earlier statements to the Union Leader on Tuesday, Dunn said that Keenan read the 20 to 30 page report prepared by MRI and chose to resign.

"It wasn't about infidelity and things were discovered during the internal investigation," Dunn said Tuesday. When asked what things, he said he couldn't comment further because they were personnel related.

During his resignation statement to selectmen, Keenan said the MRI report expanded on the conclusion of adultery and claimed that he had, in a variety of ways, exercised favoritism and engaged in various conduct unbecoming (to an officer).

He also said that he was advised late in the week that selectmen were going to hold a disciplinary committee hearing the next Wednesday at 4 p.m. "... and I would thereafter be terminated for cause."

Keenan said he "would not be allowed to offer evidence and my attorney would not be allowed to contest the MRI report."

Dunn described the investigation as "comprehensive" and said Keenan could have appeared before a disciplinary board (the selectmen would convene as the disciplinary board), that he may or may not have been fired, and that if he were fired, he could appeal it through the N.H. Judicial system.

"Mr. Keenan chose to resign instead," Dunn said. "The selectmen weren't going to fire him for infidelity."

In a statement read by Keenan to the selectmen during his resignation, he admitted his adulterous relationship and said he was told by Selectman Gus Benavides that the matter would be "handled as an internal personnel matter and might result in a caution or a reprimand, all within the confines of a confidential personnel investigation."

He also said in his statement that what he thought was going to be an interview with MRI investigators was actually an interrogation.

"In this particular case, the crime of which I was suspected was adultery," he said. "There was no reason to 'suspect' me of it. I had advised selectmen of my conduct."

Dunn also said yesterday the MRI report was commissioned through the office of the Town Attorney Robert Ciandella.

"I don't know why this is still news," Dunn added. "We're moving on. He's moving on."