20 February 2009

Franconia residents should follow Atkinson's lead and sue Chief Montminy as he allowed Bruce McKay to "intimidate, humiliate and oppress" residents.

I have long since (13 May 2008) said the folks in Franconia should give Mark Montminy the heave-ho, as voters did to Lyndeborough's Chief Basinas. Look in the files for any investigation or response regarding the valid complaints leveled against Bruce McKay and you won't find a damn thing. Not even for the complaint where Ms. B alleged that McKay "terrorized" her and stuck that non police-spec "penis-shaped knife" near her privates without privilege or legal reason. Even in McKay's death Kelly Ayotte and Franconia Chief Mark Montminy failed to conduct any investigation or to issue any report about the 7 or 8 policy violations he committed that directly and not unforeseeably led to his death.

Then look at today's Union Leader Story and see what the residents in Brentwood/Atkinson are doing; I'll post the entire story in the comments because you know how the UL makes you pay for it when it "expires" on their website.
While many of the allegations were fired at Consentino, the suit also accuses him, the current and former selectmen, and the town's moderator of engaging in an "organized conspiracy" to "intimidate, humiliate and oppress" residents who oppose decisions made by the chief and local government.

The suit was filed in Rockingham County Superior Court by Concord attorney Charles G. Douglas III and seeks unspecified monetary damages.....

1 comment:

Christopher King said...

Residents sue Atkinson chief, town officials

By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
6 hours, 51 minutes ago

BRENTWOOD – A lawsuit filed this week accuses Atkinson police Chief Philip V. Consentino of bullying residents to defend his "turf" and running the town like a "stereotypical southern sheriff of the 1920s."

The part-time chief, who's been the target of several lawsuits over the years, is facing a new legal challenge brought by three residents who claim Consentino has led a campaign of harassment and that selectmen have allowed it to go on far too long.

Residents Leon B. Artus, Gary Brownfield and Steven Lewis filed the 19-page civil lawsuit against Consentino; the town; current selectmen Paul Sullivan, Fred Childs and William Friel; and former selectmen Francis Polito, now town moderator, and Jack Sapia, current head of the conflict of interest committee.

►Atkinson police chief: Bully or a target? (36)
►Atkinson chief has had his fill of town politics

While many of the allegations were fired at Consentino, the suit also accuses him, the current and former selectmen, and the town's moderator of engaging in an "organized conspiracy" to "intimidate, humiliate and oppress" residents who oppose decisions made by the chief and local government.

The suit was filed in Rockingham County Superior Court by Concord attorney Charles G. Douglas III and seeks unspecified monetary damages.

It comes just a month after Artus and Brownfield -- both members of local taxpayer organizations -- sought signatures for citizen-petitioned warrant articles that would have changed the chief's position from part time to full time. The petition also called for boosting job qualification requirements that Consentino wouldn't have been able to meet, effectively forcing him out of the job.

Another petition sought to improve the management of the town's elderly affairs department, which Consentino also oversees.

The lawsuit claims that within an hour of the petitions being turned in to the town clerk's office for placement on the town warrant, Consentino received copies and began calling those who signed them, many of whom were elderly and rely on the elderly affairs office.

"Not surprisingly, within 24 hours many of the citizens who received intimidating and angry phone calls from Chief Consentino began calling Mr. Artus, Mr. Brownfield and others who worked to have the petitions signed, as well as the town offices, to request that their signatures be removed from the warrant article petitions," the suit says.
Feb. 3, 2009 consentino 60px

CONSENTINO

Consentino, who's been on the job for more than 30 years, is accused of abusing his office and violating citizens' rights to petition their government.

Consentino declined to comment on the lawsuit yesterday, saying he hasn't "seen anything." He referred all comments to attorney Gary Lane, who is representing the town in the case. Lane was unavailable for comment.

The suit says the town has a "nearly three decades old record of allowing Chief Consentino to engage in abuses of power and coercion of citizens who dare to stand up to him, without any meaningful consequence to him."

The suit goes on to cite eight examples dating back to 1981 in which Consentino allegedly abused his power, some of which resulted in lawsuits and settlements.

Lewis, one of the plaintiffs, was asked to sign the petitions but refused even though he supported them because he feared Consentino would retaliate against him as he claims the chief did in 2000 when he pushed for a similar warrant article seeking a full-time appointed chief, the suit said.

The selectmen's "refusal to remove or even meaningfully restrain Chief Consentino has clearly emboldened him over the years to the point that he now continues to personally confront simple townsfolk who sign a petition for a warrant article to intimidate them into removing themselves from the political process," the suit said.

The latest suit also accuses Polito, the town moderator, of publicly humiliating Brownfield and violating his rights by ordering him to stop taking photographs during last month's deliberative session.

During the session, which is a public meeting, Brownfield claimed he was taking photographs of the meeting and officials as the "professional photographer" for the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers newspaper.

At one point during the meeting, the suit said Polito publicly demanded that he stop taking pictures while Polito was at the podium.

Brownfield protested, saying he was allowed to take pictures just like other photographers who were there. The suit said Polito "shouted him down" and accused him of being disruptive.

The incident was captured on the town's cable access channel and video now appears on YouTube, the popular video-sharing Web site (click for link).

During a break, the suit claims, Sapia, a former selectman, demanded that any photographs of him be deleted and that the memory card from Brownfield's digital camera be turned over.

Sapia said yesterday that he couldn't discuss the case, and Polito declined to comment. Sullivan, Childs and Friel could not be reached for comment.