By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Four months after an altercation with police at a Dropkick Murphys concert at a local music venue, Gilmanton state Rep. Michael Maloney pleaded guilty Tuesday to a Class A misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.
Maloney, 51, of Gilmanton, was sentenced to serve six months in the Belknap County House of Corrections, all of which was suspended, and fined $1,000, $750 of which was suspended. The suspensions are conditional on one year's good behavior. Maloney has paid his fine.
According to Gilford Police statements made available pursuant to a Right-to-Know request, Maloney and other members of his family attended the concert on Sept. 17. One of his sons was holding two beers at one time, which is a violation of pavilion rules.
A statement made by security manager Jason Jenkins said a security person approached the man, who was Maloney's son, and offered to hold one of the beers until the other party could return. The man didn't want to comply and instead walked away.
When he continued to be uncooperative, Jenkins said he determined the younger man could no longer stay at the venue. The younger man said he wanted to talk to his parents.
Jenkins said Northfield Police Chief John Raffaelly and Officer Aaron Chapple responded and stood by. Jenkins said the entire family, a total of seven people, gathered where Maloney's son was and initially refused to comply with the request to leave but eventually they got to the front gate and left.
A while later, according to accounts from three police officers, including Chapple, Belmont Police Chief Mark Lewandoski and Gilford Police Lt. James Leach, someone in the family called 911 and reported they had been assaulted by police and wanted to speak with the New Hampshire State Police.
EMTs arrived in the parking lot to see if anyone was injured and all refused treatment but were told that someone in their party had been pushed by police, said Leach. Five police officers also responded with EMTs and Leach said Jenkins told the group that the pavilion wanted them off the property.
After more arguments, a second call was made to 911 and the caller was placed through to state police, who later told Gilford Police that they were refusing to respond. At 8:55 p.m., according to Gilford call logs, Maloney had called 911 several times but had hung up. Attempts to call him back went unanswered.
Leach's report said the Maloney group was escalating its behavior and were told that if they did not leave the property, they could be charged with trespassing.
When one of the women in the party told police she was having an anxiety attack, Lewandoski went to check on her and Leach said he called EMTs to respond.
Members of the group continued to yell at police, saying it was police who had caused the anxiety attack.
At this point, Leach said Maloney put his hands in his pockets and pushed his body into Chapple. When told by Leach that he had just assaulted a police officer, Maloney said he had his hands in his pockets so an assault was impossible.
Once pushed, Chapple said he pushed Maloney toward Leach, who handcuffed him and charged him with simple assault on a police officer.
"Mike was not guilty of assaulting a police officer," said Diane Maloney, who returned The Laconia Daily Sun's phone call because her husband was in a meeting.
She said he pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge because they "just wanted to get the whole thing behind them."
"We were there for a family function and when one of the boys was told to leave, we couldn't get anyone from the police to tell us why," she said.
She said they have never had problems with the police before and she was upset that no one would tell them why first her son and then her husband were told to leave.
"It was a bad night and I felt the police could have done a better job," Diane Maloney said.
As part of a plea agreement with the prosecution, Maloney agreed to plead guilty to a Class A misdemeanor of disorderly conduct and the charge of simple assault on a police officer was eliminated.
Chapple said that as the victim, he was fine with the plea agreement as long as it was a Class A misdemeanor, because of its potential for jail time.
Maloney was elected to the state House of Representatives last November, and represents Belknap District 5, which serves Alton and Gilmanton.
As a state representative, he also sits on the Belknap County delegation. He also serves on the Environment and Agriculture Committee.
A spokesman for House Speaker Shawn Jasper said that while Jasper doesn't condone this kind of behavior, he doesn't feel that it rises to the level of censure.
He said Jasper hopes Maloney has learned his lesson.
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