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Lawyer: Expect lawsuit against former New London chief

Union Leader Correspondent

April 05. 2013 8:43PM


NEW LONDON - Three days after arresting a female Colby-Sawyer College student on misdemeanor charges, then-New London Police Chief David Seastrand called the woman to the police station "to ask how she wanted to resolve her case," according to the woman's lawyer.

It was then that Seastrand asked the woman to pose for nude pictures in exchange for dropping charges against her for underage possession of alcohol and for submitting a false name to police, said attorney Richard Lehmann of Douglas, Leonard and Garvey in Concord.

The student did not expect a phone call from police about her case because she had already been arrested, arraigned and had pleaded not guilty, Lehmann said.

Police prosecutors sometimes have contact with people after they've been arrested and arraigned, but "usually (the accused or their lawyers) have to contact them," he said. "It was very unusual," he said.

Seastrand resigned Thursday as part of a negotiated agreement with the N.H. Attorney General's Office after an investigation into his actions on March 6, when the woman said he made his request. He had announced his retirement earlier in the week but did not give a reason.

A complaint was made to the Attorney General's office regarding Seastrand's actions with the woman. Attorney General Michael A. Delaney announced Thursday that a negotiated disposition had been reached that called for Seastrand to resign and permanently relinquish his certification as a police officer.

After those concessions, no charges will be filed against him by the state, the attorney general said.

Lehmann said the woman accepted the state's decision but will file a civil suit against Seastrand in the coming days.

Seastrand had been a member of the New London Police Department for 27 years and had been chief since 1995. He could not be reached for comment, and all calls to town police regarding the former chief were referred to the town administrator.

On Friday, an announcement was added to the town's website that said selectmen have appointed Sgt. Edward G. Andersen acting police chief.

"Chief Seastrand has indicated that due to an investigation undertaken by the state Attorney General's office, he is unable to give his full focus to his duties as chief . he has indicated that he is unable to continue serving the town up to that date, under the circumstances.

"The selectmen reiterate their strong support for Chief Seastrand and appreciation for his service to the town of New London for the past 27 years and wish him the very best in the future," the statement read.

Selectman Peter Bianchi said the town was unaware of the attorney general's investigation prior to Thursday.

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