Commissioners Turn Down Request to Reinstate Logue

LACONIA — Belknap County Commissioners voted unanimously yesterday afternoon to turn down a request from the director of nursing at the Belknap County Nursing Home to reinstate Mathew Logue as administrator of the nursing home.
''Somebody else is going to have to do that,'' said outgoing commissioner Ed Philpot (D-Laconia), who said that commissioners think they had good reasons to terminate Logue in late August and recently filed an appeal with the New Hampshire Supreme Court of his reinstatement by the county convention's Personnel Committee.
Last week Beknap County Nursing Home Nursing Director Diane Roberts asked the commission to reinstate Logue as soon as as possible, maintaining that it is only a matter of time before he is reinstated by the new commissioners when they take office next month and that not having an administrator puts the nursing home at risk.
She made her plea shortly after Belknap County Administrator Debra Shackett said that the state Department of Health and Human Services called her office recently to verify who the administrator at the home is. She said that she told the state that Logue is currently listed as the administrator and is on leave ''but will likely be back.''
Three weeks ago the commissioners filed an appeal with the New Hampshire Supreme Court of the Belknap Convention's Personnel Committee's decision to reinstate Logue as administrator of the Belknap County Nursing Home.
The appeal, filed on Dec. 11, maintains that the Personnel Committee, which at the time of its decision in October to reinstate Logue was composed of Rep. Coltette Worsman (R-Meredith), Rep. Robert Greemore (R-Meredith) and Rep. Richard Burchell (R-Gilmanton) ''ignored limits on its statutory authority as well as overwhelming and uncontroverted evidence,'' which the commission had introduced at a hearing held by the committee on Logue's appeal of his dismissal.
The filing of the appeal took place despite the expressed intention of incoming County Commissioners Burchell and Dave DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) to pull the plug on an appeal of the Logue personnel matter. The pair will take office on January 7 and will constitute a new majority.
Logue is currently on administrative leave, with pay, pending the outcome of an appeal of the committee's decision.
Commissioner Nedeau, who earlier this month announced his decision to resign effective Jan. 1, said he was not impressed with Logue's work since he was first hired by the commission late last year.
''With all respect to car salesmen, we don't need a car salesman for a director.'' said Nedeau.
In late August the commission terminated Logue for what it termed willful insubordination, lack of cooperation and inability to perform his duties in a timely manner, claiming that he was "untruthful and unreliable'' in dealing with county officials. Logue appealed his termination to the Personnel Committee, which held a day-long public hearing on October 6, at which attorney Mark Broth of Manchester presented the case against Logue and Logue spoke in own defense.
Four days later the committee voted unanimously to reinstate Logue, after finding his defense of the charges against him to be "credible and persuasive.''
A motion for a rehearing filed by attorney Broth was denied by the Personnel Committee.
The appeal to the Supreme Court will add to the legal bills faced by the county, which were the subject of much discussion by the county convention's Executive Committee when it met two weeks ago week to take up requests for budget transfers and turned down a request by the commission for $33,000 to pay unpaid legal bills.

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Laconia residents have 3 options for disposal of Christmas trees

LACONIA — Although the Department of Public Works no longer collects Christmas trees at the curbside, it offers residents three options for disposing of their trees.

Trees can be taken to the brush dump on Hilliard Road on Wednesdays — Jan. 1, 14, 21 and 28 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., the Transfer Station on Meredith Center Road on weekdays — Monday through Friday — between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and on Saturday between 8 a.m. and noon, as well as to the designated area of the softball field at Memorial Park off Court Street.

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Barnstead police blockade ends up being a misunderstanding

BARNSTEAD — Police blocked off a road in the Locke Lake Colony yesterday morning because of what they thought was an armed man barricaded with a hostage in his house.

Chief Joe McDowell said the man had apparently argued with his girlfriend who left the home with her child and called police.

She told them that the man was inside was angry, had a 3-month old baby in the home, and a gun.

McDowell said police from Gilmanton, Alton, the Belknap County Sheriffs Department and State Police blocked access to the area. He said three officers went to the door and the man answered it.

McDowell said he was fine, the baby was fine, describing the situation as a misunderstanding. When asked if he owned a gun, McDowell said a legally owned weapon was found in a different room.

The man told them he had fought with his girlfriend but thought she had left. He said he wasn't paying attention to what was happening outside and didn't know the police were there until they knocked.

"I'm glad it was nothing," said McDowell. "We acted on the information we had, and it's better to be safe than sorry."

Police were there from about 9:15 a.m. when Barnstead got the call until noon when everything was rectified.

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