Belmont voters may be asked if they want to repeal youth curfew

BELMONT — Selectmen will consider putting the town's curfew law for minors before voters at next year's Town Meeting to either amend or repeal it.
Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin told selectmen when they met yesterday that the town has received a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union pointing out that parts of the law are, in its opinion, unconstitutional.
She said that the ordinance is not enforced to the letter of the law by police and the department has no objection to having the ordinance repealed.
Selectman Ronald Cormier pointed out that when the ordinance was adopted it was aimed at parents, not juveniles, because many parents were allowing juveniles to stay out late at night.

In previous interactions with municipal governments, the ACLU has argued that youth curfews are a violation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In particular, they believe curfew criminalize perfectly innocent conduct and infringe upon parents' fundamental right to decide how to raise their children. And, they believe such curfews subject young people in general to forced interactions with police because it is not possible to pinpoint a person's exact age simply by looking at them.

Selectmen spent the better part of Monday afternoon reviewing departmental budget requests for 2016 as Beaudin noted that the proposed operating budget is up by only 2.2 percent. But the capital budget is a different matter as requests are up by $600,000 over last year, with the biggest increases coming from a $175,000 Hoadley Road culvert project and $150,000 from the recreational trail project along Lake Winnisquam.
Selectmen approved an employment contract with Beaudin which provides a 2 percent pay increase, which would bring her salary to $91,214.66 next year and tabled until their next meeting a proposed contract with Fire Chef David Parenti which provides a 3 percent increase and would see his pay rise to $89,462.33 next year,
They also approved a proposal to put a stop sign at the intersection of Plummer Hill Road and Leavitt Road as well as remove brush which hinders the view of drivers at the intersection.
Selectmen had no objection to a state proposal to remove streetlights along a section of sidewalk on Rte. 3 extending from near the entryway to the town beach to the Belknap Mall. The state Department of Transportation is looking at shutting down a number of streetlights across the state as a cost-saving measure.
Selectmen are also looking at a proposal from Beaudin to hold an auction of lots taken by tax deed by the town. Many of the lots are small and are mainly of interest to abutters. Cormier said that the town might be able to handle the sales on its own but Beaudin pointed out that the auction firm would advertise and potentially attract more bidders.
Beaudin noted that the board had received a letter from the Shaker Regional School District informing them the school district would be placing a fence up on Nov. 1 at a driveway on School Street which is located on school district property.
Ruth Mooney, chairman of the selectmen, said that a lot of taxpayers think selectmen are in charge of what is done with school property but that is not the case.
''We really have nothing to say about it. It's not our decision,'' said Mooney.

Young Romanian man charged with rape at Weirs Beach residence

LACONIA — A Romanian man charged with raping an 18-year-old woman at his residence at 12 Maple Street in the Weirs section of the city was arraigned in Fourth Laconia Circuit Laconia Division District Court Monday and continues to be held on $6,500 cash only bail.
Miklos Szekely, 23, was arrested Sunday by Laconia Police and charged with one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault of a female acquaintance during the evening hours of September 28 at his residence.
A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Nov. 9.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact the Laconia Police Department or the Laconia Crime Line, 524-1717.

Center Harbor man charged with stealing $750,000 from terminally ill father

CENTER HARBOR — A local man is charged with theft by unauthorized taking for allegedly taking control of nearly $750,000 belonging to his terminally ill father, Clifford Fitzferald Jr..
The New Hampshire Attorney General's has charged Keith C. Fitzgerald, 50, of 166 Follett Road, Center Harbor, with a felony theft charge and alleges that he misused his power of attorney status to transfer the funds to multiple investment accounts.
Fitzgerald entered no plea to the charges in 4th Circuit District Laconia Division District Court on September 18 and waived a probable cause hearing on the charges. He was released on $10,000 personal recognizance bail and signed a waiver of extradition which allows a defendant to be brought back to the state without further court hearings should they leave the state.
An affidavit filed by Peter Favreau, a N.H. Department of Justice investigator, says that the criminal charges were brought after the N.H. Attorney General's Office received information that Fitzgerald had stolen some of his father's assets.
In January of 2010 the elder Fitzgerald, then living in Florida, was brought to Memorial Sloan Kettenring Hospital in New York, where he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. His wife, Ingrid, who was responsible for the management of his financial affairs died in April of 2010.
That same month the elder Fitzgerald executed a statutory power of attorney document naming Keith as his primary agent and the following month executed a Florida durable power of attorney document naming Keith and Clifford Fitzgerald III, Keith's brother, as co-attorneys.
The New York document prohibited Keith Fitzgerald from making major gifts or transfers of property to himself or anyone else and named Clifford Fitzgerald III as monitor who was to provide a record of all transactions made or done on behalf of his father by his brother.
The Florida document, which was issued the same day that the elder Fitzgerald filed a will that equally divided his estate among his children, also barred both brothers from distributing his assets to discharge their own personal obligations. The elder Fitzgerald died on September 15, 2010.
The affidavit says that Keith Fitzgerald was already accessing his father's $1.4 million in assets of May of 2010 and transferred $1 million to a Wells Fargo account and then established multiple accounts, unknown to his father, and had the reports sent to his own address in Center Harbor, and listed his father's address as 89 Tuttle Road, a vacant lot owned by Fitzgerald Investments LLC. Keith Fitzgerald is listed as a managing member of Fitzgerald Investments, which had filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009 and had listed $570,000 in debts owed to its major creditors.
The largest creditor is listed as Richard Adams of Center Harbor, whom the affidavit says is a longtime friend of Keith Fitzgerald and was owed $175,000.
Investigators say that Adams and Fitzgerald had an arrangement in which money was borrowed from a $175,000 line of credit Adams had with Citizens Bank and that Adams loaned virtually all of the money to Fitzgerald, who signed a $200,000 promissory note which was registered with the Belknap County Registry of Deeds on March of 2010.
The investigators say that every month Fitzgerald made payments to Adams, who used the funds to reduce the money borrowed, and Fitzgerald issued a check for $125,000 on July 28, 2010 to pay off the balance of the debt.
Fitzgerald is represented by attorney Allison Ambrose of Laconia, while Assistant Attorney General Jesse O'Neill, who is assigned to the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau. is prosecuting the case for the state.