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Sharing of animal control officer still in planning stage

LACONIA — Laconia Police Capt. Bill Clary said yesterday that the idea of creating an animal control officer posiiton for multiple communities is one that has been informally discussed for years.

Clary said Laconia hasn't had a dedicated animal control officer in at least five years.

He said Laconia Police and City Manager Scott Myers were initially approached by Gilford Town Administrator Scott Dunn and Police Chief Anthony Bean Burpee about some kind of regional effort.

He said Belmont Chief Mark Lewandoski was also interested.

Lewandoski made a presentation on the subject to his Board of Selectmen Monday night as part of a 2015 budget discussion and selectmen agreed the initiative was a good idea.

The officer would be part-time and paid hourly.

So far, Clary said there has been one meeting between the three communities and many of the details of how the combined effort will work have yet to be determined. He noted that both Gilford and Belmont Police administrators needed to create a budget line for the project this month in time for their 2015 budget preparation schedules.

For Laconia Police, Clary noted his department operates on a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year but would have the money for the position for the first six months of 2-15 from his part-time labor allocation.

Clary said the idea is to hire a part-time police officer who will technically be employed by the Laconia Police Department. He said he wold prefer a sworn police officer because he or she could issue summonses and write criminal citations, if needed, in cases of animal cruelty.

All agreed that the work done by the part-time animal control officer will free up uniformed patrol units needed for non-animal related calls.

Gilford Town Administrator Scott Dunn said his understanding is that his community and Belmont will each contribute approximately $15,000 to Laconia as their portion of the cost.

The animal control van belongs to the city of Laconia and, tentatively, each community will take turns fueling it.

All three communities will continue to make separate payments to the N.H. Humane Society for contracted services rendered. In 2014, Laconia paid $25,000, Gilford paid $7,000 and Belmont paid $5,500. All involved said the same amount will be budgeted for 2015.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 01:08

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Former pharmacist held in lieu of $100,000 cash bail

CIRCUIT COURT — A Gilford man arrested on Friday and who is facing multiple drug charges, as well one count of possession of a handgun with a filed-off serial number, was formerly a registered pharmacist who voluntarily gave up his license on January 6, 2012.

Records from the N.H. Board of Pharmacy indicate Kyle Harriman, 34, knew in 2012 that allegations of misconduct were pending before the board and he agreed to surrender his license.

According to a representative from the N.H. Judiciary's call center, Harriman pleaded guilty in 2013 in Grafton County Superior Court to three counts of theft by unauthorized taking and was sentenced to serve at total of 12 months in the house of corrections. All of the sentence was suspended pending his good behavior for three years.

Three counts of possession of controlled drugs were not prosecuted.

According to police affidavits obtained yesterday from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, a Laconia officer on patrol on Gilford Avenue noticed the car Harriman was driving cross the double yellow line with all four tires before turning left on Bedford Avenue in Gilford.

Once stopped, the officer identified Harriman and smelled marijuana coming from the car. During the ensuing conversation, Harriman voluntarily produced a container of green vegetative material consistent with marijuana.

Harriman was arrested and had $5,500 in his pockets. He told the arresting officer that he was a pharmacist and had just cashed his paycheck. He later told police he hadn't been a pharmacist for "over a year."

When the officer returned to the car to do an inventory search, he discovered the car was locked and asked Harriman for the keys. His affidavit said the Harriman told him the keys must be inside.

From the outside of the car the officer said he saw a clear plastic baggie on the front passenger side floor board along with a clear straw that was visible inside an open pouch that was also on the passenger seat.

Affidavits said that during the booking process, Harriman tried to ingest multiple blue pills, later identified as 30 mg oxycodone pills, while he was being searched.
After police got a search warrant for they found six 30-mg oxycodone pills; five .25-mg pills of resperidone; a clear pastic baggie that tested positive for methamphetamine; two 8-mg Subotex pills; 15 .5-mg pills of clonazepam; eight pills of suboxine; some green vegetative matter that field tested positive for marijuana; a French made 40-caliber handgun with the serial number removed; some brass knuckles and some miscellaneous drug paraphernalia.

After his appearance in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division last Friday, Harriman was ordered held on $100,000 cash-only bail.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 October 2014 12:57

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Bradford man accused of assault on Laconia woman in her apartment

CIRCUIT COURT — A Bradford man is being held on $10,000 cash-only bail after appearing in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday after allegedly throwing a Union Avenue woman into a mirror and pounding her head into the floor.

Adrian Merced, 24, is charged with one count second degree assault, one count of simple assault and one count of violation of a court order order of protection.

According to police affidavits filed with the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, police initially responded to the victim's apartment Saturday at 1:57 a.m. in answer to a 911 call. When they arrived they saw the victim had a cut on her head and Merced said she had accidentally fallen into a mirror.

At this point the victim also told police she had fallen. She was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital for treatment.

Affidavtis said when police went to the hospital a few hours later to speak to her, she told them that she wanted an emergency order of protection regarding Merced, which was then granted by a circuit court judge.

Merced was the hospital at that time and was served in hand at 4:30 a.m.

At 4:19 p.m., police responded a second time to Union Avenue and the victim reported that Merced had sent her numerous text messages that began at 2 p.m. and ended at 3:44 p.m.

The victim also told the police officer that during the first assault, Merced had grabbed her by the feet and dragged her from the bed. She said she hit her head on bed frame.

She told the officer that Merced threw her to the ground, threw her into the mirror — breaking it — and her threw her to the ground. In his criminal complaints, Merced is described as being 6-feet 3-inched tall and weighing 240 pounds.

She said he picked her up and threw her to the ground a second time and began to smash her head onto the floor. She said she begged him to call 911 because she was bleeding so much.

At the hospital the victim received 10 staples in her head and eight to 10 stitches in her backside.

A male witness to the assault told the officer a similar story and said the beating only stopped when he stepped in.

Merced was taken into custody without incident by Gilford Police at 7:12 p.m. after they learned from Laconia Police he was staying at 131 Lakes Street. Gilford Police brought Merced to the Laconia Police Station.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 October 2014 01:51

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County official testifies nursing home administrator lied & was insubordinate

LACONIA — The Belknap County Convention's Personnel Committee heard testimony yesterday on last month's firing of Belknap County Nursing Home Administrator Mathew Logue, who had been on the job since he was hired by the Belknap County Commission in December of 2012.
Attorney Mark Broth of the Drummond Woodsum law firm of Manchester, Portsmouth and Portland, Maine, who represented the commission at the hearing, said in both his opening and closing remarks that Logue was fired for willful insubordination, lack of cooperation and inability to perform his duties in a timely manner and that he was ''untruthful and unreliable in dealing with county officials.''

Logue is exercising his right to appeal his termination by county officials and he asked that the hearing be held in public.
Logue, who represented himself at the hearing, defended himself by saying that the evaluations of his performance by County Administrator Debra Shackett were ''completely subjective'' and saying that he felt as though he was in a situation in which no matter what he did it would be viewed as either too much or not enough.
''I don't think I was treated fairly. It was a difficult time. This was more challenging than everything I've ever done before. I did the best I could in this environment and have no regrets,'' said Logue after he concluded his testimony.
County Administrator Shackett testified that Logue, who had 20 years experience as an administrator at private nursing homes, 15 of which were in Florida, had no experience working with public nursing homes with a unionized workforce and that she had expected — when he was hired on her recommendation to the commission — that there would be a long learning curve for him.
She said that at a performance evaluation in March of 2013 that she had written that she expected him to develop working relationships with Human Resources Director Norm O'Neil, Finance Director Glenn Waring and herself and said that she expected him to develop a updated staffing plan for each division of the nursing home.
She said that when she completed his six-month evaluation in June of 2013 she said that she had hoped he would improve and granted a six-month extension for his period as a probationary employee but was uncomfortable about his relationship with the county delegation, citing a 30-minute conversation that he had had with County Convention Chairperson Colette Worsman, after she had told him that he was not empowered by the commission to speak for it on issues regarding the county home.
Shackett testified that she never received the updated staffing plan that she had sought and when she did receive information from him about the nursing home in August of this year, it turned out to be a compilation of information culled from websites with staffing recommendations that had been prepared by Diane Roberts for the county in 2010, rather than the analysis which she had sought.
Asked about the report that he had submitted in August by Broth, Logue said that it contained information he had been asked to provide. When Broth asked him if he understood the difference between data and analysis, Logue said that he did not.
Shackett also testified that Logue had not complied with her request to submit his budget recommendations by September 20 of 2013 and that when he did submit them a week later they were last year's budget numbers, not those he had developed himself. Logue maintained that he had not been provided with the proper budget software until August of 2013 which led Broth to ask him why he had not sought assistance much earlier as he had testified earlier that the budget was his top priority.
Shackett also testified that there were at least two times in which Logue was untruthful with her, in February of this year when he had told her that all of the personnel evaluations except one had been completed and in May of this year when she inquired about developments in a situation with an employee identified only as Employee A and he had told her that it was being handled with meetings every other week.
She said that she was shocked to discover a month after Logue had told her that evaluations had been completed except for one that none had been delivered to the Human Resources Department.
Shackett also said that in August, when she talked to Employee A, whom she had questioned Logue about earlier, the employee told her that no meetings had been held regarding her situation.
Employee A testified behind closed doors at yesterday' hearing as a witness for the commissioners.
Shackett also testified that Logue had been suspended for one week without pay in July of this year for willful insubordination for failure to sign a letter suspending an employee for one day for excessive incidents of being late to work.
Logue said that he felt that no policy had been developed which provided for consistent treatment of employees charged with being frequently late and that he favored working with employees to improve their performance rather than ''docking them on a technicality".'
Shackett said that she had recommended that Logue's probationary period be extended for six months with the goal that he would be successful in his job but that hadn't worked and that she had recommended to commissioners in late August of this year that he be fired. Commissioners agreed and terminated his employment in early September. Logue subsequently appealed his termination to the county personnel committee, whose members are Collette Worsman, convention chairperson; Bob Greemore, vice-chairperson and Richard Burchell, clerk of the Belknap County convention.
Worsman said that the public hearing on the appeal is the first time anyone can remember the process taking place in the county. She said the committee, which was assisted at the hearing by Attorney Lauren Irwin of the Upton and Hatfield law firm of Concord, planned to deliberate on the testimony in a non-public session and issue a ruling as early as Tuesday.

Listening to testimony at a hearing on an appeal of the termination of Belknap County Nursing Home Administrator Mathew Logue, (inset) are attorney Lauren Irwin, legal counsel for the Belknap County Convention's Personnel Committee and committee members, all state representatives, Colette Worsman, Bob Greemore and Richard Burchell. (Roger Amsden.for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 October 2014 01:46

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