LACONIA — Belknap County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen said Monday the case cited by Commissioner Richard Burchell in his letter to The Daily Sun, published in Saturday's edition, regarding her alleged lack of cooperation in instituting a "community corrections" incarceration model concerned a case of perjury.
In his letter Burchell did not refer to the case by name but said it involved the county jail superintendent determining how a sentence was to be served — by participating in a out-of-jail electronic monitor program — and having that decision challenged by Gulbrandsen in Superior Court. A goal of the community corrections model is to get non-violent offenders, where appropriate, out of lockups.
Gulbrandsen said that in the case of State v. Tammy Dunn a jury fond the defedent guilty of perjury or lying under oath regarding a landlord-tenant case that was being considered by Judge Jim Carroll of the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division.
She said the initial complaint about Dunn was filed by the circuit court with her office and was investigated by the Belknap County Sheriff's Department.
Dunn was indicted, convicted and her conviction was upheld by the N.H. Supreme Court. She was sentenced in Superior Court to 12 months in jail with all but eight suspended. Dunn is on work-release but must return to jail daily and be there when she is not working.
Guldbrandsen said when her office was notified by the jail it objected because the sentence was not contemplated by the court during the sentencing portion of the trial.
"This sentence addressed the punitive, deterrent, and rehabilitative components the court must consider under N.H. law," wrote Asst. County Attorney Carley Ahern in her objection.
Judge James O'Neill IV agreed.
"It is well established in New Hampshire case law that the traditional goals of sentencing are punishment, rehabilitation, and deterrence," wrote O'Neill. "The Court finds the defendant has not shown by the introduction of testimony, exhibits, or oral proffers that her rehabilitation would be enhanced by participation in the Electric Monitoring Bracelet Program."
"The crime of perjury, which is a class B felony, and its effect of the orderly dispatch of justice within our court system must not be minimized," O'Neill concluded before denying her participation.