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Moultonborough selectmen want Planning Board member out, for 'neglect of duty & malfeasance' he says has never been specified

MOULTONBOROUGH — When the Board of Selectmen met last week it was revealed that they have asked Josiah Bartlett to tender his resignation from the Planning Board to spare him the embarrassment of a public hearing.

Reading from a written statement distributed to the selectmen, Bartlett's wife Diane disclosed that on July 25 he was summoned to a private meeting with Town Administrator Carter Terenzini and Peter Minkow, town counsel, who informed him that the selectmen, meeting in a non-public session, voted to request his resignation for "neglect of duty and malfeasance in office." She said that her husband was told to resign by the close of business on Monday, July 29, but has yet to receive a letter to that effect.

"After careful, prayerful deliberation and appropriate consultation," Mrs. Bartlett told the selectmen, "neither Josh nor I see any valid reason for him to do so. In fact , we think that doing so would be neglecting a duty to those he represents."

After listening to Mrs.. Bartlett, Russ Wakefield, chairman of the board, asked Terenzini why, when he and Minkow met with Bartlett, he was not offered a more "elaborate explanation." Terenzini replied that Mrs. Bartlett's remarks "don't in my opinion reflect what happened" and that "more specificity" was provided, but declined to comment further saying he was "truly uncomfortable" discussing the matter at a public meeting.

Bartlett himself then spoke, insisting "I don't know what specific incident we're talking about. Do I not get the courtesy of at least an explanation of which malfeasance I'm accused of and which dereliction of duty I'm accused of?" he asked.

"He had it, he responded to it and it was conveyed to this board," Terenzini countered, adding that the particulars would be spelt out in a letter in adequate time to prepare for the public hearing. When Bartlett said again he could not recall any specifics from their meeting, Terenzini repeated that he was "uncomfortable" discussing the details of a conversation at which town counsel was present.

Planning Board member Paul Punturieri noted that the law requires the Selectboard to hold a public hearing to dismiss an elected official and suggested the board must have already made its decision. Wakefield answered that the purpose of the hearing was to determine if there is sufficient cause to remove someone from office.

Bartlett said that since the selectmen directed Ternzini and Minkow to meet with him and ask him to resign, it appeared the board had made its decision. "True?" he asked. "No. It's not true," Wakefield replied. "Then why would you ask me to resign?" Bartlett asked.

He expressed concern with how the matter was being handled and repeated "I see absolutely no reason to resign. "I'm eager to have a public hearing."


Last Updated on Saturday, 03 August 2013 02:31

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79-year-old guilty of sexual assaults of boy

BELMONT — A 79-year-old man pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault for sexual contact with a boy who was under 13-years-old at the time.

On July 23, George Webber, 79, of 8 Bean Hill Road was sentenced to serve 12 months in the Belknap County House of Corrections with six of them to be served in home confinement on one count and 10 years — all suspended — in the N.H. State Prison on the other count. He was ordered to pay $4,600 to his victim for counseling services.

Webber is also ordered to register as a sex offender, to be on probation for two years after his release, to have no unsupervised contact with minors, to stay away from the victim, and to get counseling and treatment.

Indicted in March of 2013, Webber initially faced six counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault. Four charges were not prosecuted in exchange for his guilty plea to two of them last week.

Paperwork from the Belknap County Superior Court shows the assaults took place in 2000. The victim and his father no longer live in the area.

The case was investigated by the Belmont Police. The victim's father, who will not be identified, said he wanted to thank the Belmont Police Department and the Belknap County Attorney for the lengthy investigation.

"This chapter of our lives is behind us," he said.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 03:19

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After 14-4 loss in Rhode Island, Muskrats' playoff hopes may come down to tonight's game against Sanford

SOUTH KINGSTON, Rhode Island — The race for the third and fourth playoffs spots in the Eastern Division of the NECBL will come down to the last day of the regular season, Friday, after both Laconia and Mystic failed to lock up berths on Thursday night. Sanford trails the two teams right above it in the standings by one game, with one to play.

On Thursday, the Mainers (20-23) were forced to play a day-night doubleheader in different cities and came away with a split, losing to division leading Newport (29-14) 4-1 in the afternoon and then beating Mystic (21-22) 5-3 last night. The Muskrats (21-22) were blasted 14-4 by Ocean State here in Rhode Island. The Waves (24-19) are in second place

Tonight, Laconia hosts Sanford at 6:30 p.m. at Robbie Mills Field and Mystic hosts Plymouth (Mass.).

Ocean State jumped off to a 4-0 lead in the first inning last night and never looked back, adding 7 runs in the fifth.

Nevin Wilson (Vanderbilt) started for Laconia and gave up 9 runs in just 4-1/3 innings. He surrendered six hits and allowed 5 walks. Adrian Longoria (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) followed Wilson on the mound and he was tagged for 3 more runs in 2/3 of an inning. Next came Luke Stephenson (Vanderbilt), who didn't get an out and gave up 2 more runs. Rob Koski (Hartford CC) was Laconia's most effective pitcher, striking out 4 and allowed just a single run over the final 3 innings.

Shortstop Joey Bielek (Arizona State) had a very productive night at the plate for the Muskrats, going 3 for 5 with 2 RBIs.



Last Updated on Friday, 02 August 2013 03:44

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Teen pleads guilty to trespass of cemetery

LACONIA — A young local man pleaded guilty yesterday to one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass for entering the Union Cemetery on July 12, 2012 when he knew he wasn't supposed to be there.

Jagger Richer, 18, of 61 Asheulot Drive in Tilton was sentenced to serve one year in the Belknap County House of Corrections with all but 45 days suspended. He was ordered to perform 50 hours of community service at the cemetery and reimburse it $255. Court records show Jagger will serve 12 days.

One charge of felony interference with a cemetery was not prosecuted as part of the negotiated plea arrangement. Richer was indicted by a Belknap County grand jury in December of 2012 when he was alleged to have entered the Union Cemetery and knocked over one gravestone marker at plot 176.

On the morning of July 13, a cemetery employee noticed about 20 stones in one of the oldest sections of the cemetery had been knocked over and some of them had broken.

City police had said at the time of Richer's arrest that they didn't believe he acted alone. It is not known if any additional arrests were made.

At the time of his indictment, Richer was living in Laconia.


Last Updated on Friday, 02 August 2013 03:38

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