Man held on domestic violence charges


LACONIA — A former Belmont man faces multiple felonies and misdemeanors related to an alleged confrontation he had with his former girlfriend on April 24 and 25.

Thomas Kasperian, 29, who is a transient, is charged with five counts of domestic violence assault, one count of robbery, one count of endangering a child, one count of cruelty to animals, two counts of criminal threatening, one count of second degree assault, one count of criminal mischief, and one count of theft by unauthorized taking for beating her when she allegedly caught him shooting heroin in her home.

Affidavits submitted by police yesterday in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division said Belmont Police were contacted by the Franklin Police Department to conduct a welfare check at the woman's home after her mother went to Franklin to report the assault.

Police said the victim told them that Kasparian had just returned from Florida and was staying at her house. She said the first argument began on April 24 when she heard him making phone calls and thought the calls were for some drugs.

She said on that night he pushed her into a hallway heating vent but because he apologized she let him stay. The next day the alleged victim told police she saw him injecting heroin and asked him to leave. She said he refused so she tried to call them with her flip-phone but he took it away and allegedly "shoved him to the floor."

She told police she was able to get up and Kasperian grabbed her by the head and forced it into a flat-screened television after which he allegedly threw a ceramic bowl at the TV. Affidavits said evidence collected from the scene supports he story.

The alleged victim said he threw her to the floor and kicked the right side of her body after which he allegedly kicked her three times in the stomach. She told police he knelt on her throat and she kicked him in the privates to get him off of her.

She said he grabbed her dog "Harley" and threw him against a wall and threatened to kill the dog according to affidavits.

She told police to tell him to leave but when he wouldn't and came after her again, she grabbed a bowl filled with milk but when she went to splash him with it, he picked up his 3-year old child and used him to block the milk so the boy was splashed, not him.

Affidavits said she decided to get away and grabbed her purse and the dog. She said he then poured vinegar over her bed. The alleged victim was able to leave but realized he had taken $170 from her wallet.

A police detective said the victim had bruising consistent with her story.

Kasperian was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail and given standard bail conditions.

Plans for WOW Trail on display now, public hearing will be Monday


LACONIA — The City Council will hold a public hearing on the second phase of the Winnipesaukee-Opechee-Winnisquam (WOW) Trail between the Laconia Public Library and the Belmont town line on Monday, May 9, beginning at 7 p.m.
The proposed route of the trail would require eliminating a dozen parking spaces and a dedicated right-turn lane on New Salem Street.
The plan of the trail will be on display from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. through Saturday at the Raw Fitness center at 7 Pleasant St. In addition, the plans, together with representatives of H.E. Bergeron Engineers, Inc., the firm that designed the trail, will be at City Hall an hour before the meeting to address questions about the project.
"We want to make sure that all interested parties have the chance to review this project," said John Morierty, who chairs Laconia Main Street. "The project will contribute to the economic vitality of our community, " he added. He said that a presentation to the City Council by Alllan Beetle, president of the WOW Trail committee , will be available at www.LaconiaMain and more information can be found This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

County commissioner censured - Dick Burchell called out for accessing medical records


LACONIA — Belknap County Commissioner Richard Burchell (R-Gilmanton) was censured by his two colleagues Wednesday morning for official misconduct in connection with his attempts to access protected medical records in the state Department of Health and Human Services database.
Commissioner Hunter Taylor (R-Alton) said that he had originally been inclined to overlook the failed attempt by Burchell to gain access to the database as a case of "no harm, no foul," but said that on deeper reflection he came to view the incident as a serious matter which needed to be dealt with.
He said that on Jan. 20, Burchell had asked an administrative employee of the county to fax a copy of a form to the state Department of Health and Human Services which Burchell himself had signed authorizing access for him to the department's rate-setting database.
Burchell had signed the request as not only a Belknap County Commissioner but also a second time as an administrator with authority to authorize access and had provided his own private email address as the facility's contact email address.
The request was later denied by the Christine Ferwerda of the DHHS, who said that it needed explicit approval from the administrator of the Belknap Nursing Home. The county's HIPAA compliance officer, Patti Ricks, pointed out that the nursing home is required by law to protect the health care information of residents of the Belknap County Nursing Home to keep it from being used improperly, and that only the administrator of the nursing home has authority to grant access to the database. Ricks wrote that it was her determination that Burchell should not have access.
Taylor pointed out that Burchell had made the request for the form to be faxed to the DHHS at a meeting of the commission but had never discussed it with the other commissioners.

"A reasonable and honest person would have explained at the meeting what he proposed to do and would have asked for board authorization for such action. Mr. Burchell clearly chose a path of deception rather than one of transparency." He said that it was "conscious usurpation of board authority."
He said that Burchell knew he didn't have the authority to authorize personal access to the department's database yet still represented himself to the department through the form he filled out as having that authority.
Taylor said that Burchell's action violated two criminal code sections, both misdemeanors, for attempting to deceive a public servant and for attempting to commit the crime of unauthorized access. Taylor and County Commission Chairman David DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) voted to censure Burchell and forward information abut the violations to the Attorney General's Office "for appropriate action."
Burchell did not deny filling out the form seeking access but said that he had only done so in order to obtain information on how reimbursement rates for county homes are determined.
He explained that he had doubts over the statements made by Acting Nursing Home Administrator Bob Hemenway that the county was losing an estimated $185,420 a year in Medicaid income due to lack of adequate documentation of services provided for residents.

"I thought it was an incorrect assumption," said Burchell, who said that he had no intention of violating the privacy of any of the residents but instead wanted to determine what factors played a role in the decrease in reimbursements from $161.33 a day last year to $154.46 on July 1 of this year.
He said that he later found out from two DHHS officials that the reimbursement rates were determined by the percentage of residents of the home who are on Medicaid on two different census days during the year.
But Taylor noted that the information which Burchell says he wanted was readily available to him. "Neither Mr. Burchell nor any other commissioner has ever been denied requested information needed for appropriate oversight of county business or functions. What was denied in this instance was unlimited access to the unlimited access to the data system of the Department of Health and Human Services, which included highly protected individual nursing home resident health records."
He pointed out that HIPAA medical records violations penalties range from $100 to $50,000 per violation.
It was the second time in less than a year that Burchell has been censured by his fellow commissioners.
Burchell, who was elected as chairman of the commission in January of 2015, was ousted as chairman in early March of that year and replaced by DeVoy at a March 2 meeting during which Burchell attempted to prevent his ouster by continually rapping the gavel and declaring that the other commissioners were out of order.
At a June 4 meeting last year, commissioners Taylor and DeVoy censured Burchell for leaking information from a nonpublic meeting held while Burchell was still chairman to former Belknap County Nursing Home Administrator Matthew Logue.