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Suit against ex-New London chief over alleged indecent proposal on hold awaiting AG's finding

Union Leader Correspondent

April 22. 2013 9:12PM

NEW LONDON - The lawyer for the woman accusing former New London Police Chief David Seastrand of asking her to pose nude in exchange for dropping charges says a civil suit is on hold while authorities investigate complaints from other women about Seastrand's conduct.

"I'm not going to file a suit until I have all the information about the others who have come forward," said attorney Richard Lehmann of Douglas, Leonard, and Garvey, LLC in Concord.

Lehmann said he is also waiting for the state Attorney General's office to provide details of its investigation in response to a request for information under the state's Right-to-Know law. The New Hampshire Union Leader has also filed such a request.

Seastrand resigned on April 4 as part of a negotiated agreement with the Attorney General's office after an investigation into his actions on March 6, the day that 18-year-old Janelle Westfall, a Colby-Sawyer College student from Alexandria, alleges he asked her to pose nude for photos in exchange for having her charges dropped.

Westfall was arrested for underage alcohol possession and giving a false name to police, according to her lawyer. She claims Seastrand called her a few days after her arrest arraignment and made the request in order to drop the charges .

On April 8, Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said her office had received calls from "several" women regarding Seastrand's conduct as police chief.

On Monday, Young said the investigation is continuing into the additional complaints, but did not divulge details of the investigation.

Additional complaints, if found to be substantial, could prompt further actions against the chief, authorities said.

Young said the Right-to-Know requests from Lehmann and the Union Leader are still being processed by her office.

Seastrand had announced his retirement on April 1, giving no reason. Three days later, he agreed to resign as part of a "negotiated disposition" on the matter with the Attorney General's office. As part of the disposition, he agreed to resign and permanently relinquish his police officer certification.

Officials at the New Hampshire Retirement System said Seastrand's resignation will not affect his retirement benefits, which will pay him about $53,000 per year, according to the system's formula.

Young said Seastrand, 50, has not conceded any guilt in the matter, as he "did not cooperate with the investigation," she said.

Seastrand's lawyer, Nicholas Brodich of Tarbell and Brodich in Concord, said the former chief will not react publicly to the accusations against him, but said he feared the claims against the chief, which have not been proven, may ruin his reputation as a 27-year veteran of the town's police department.

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