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Nashua lawmaker sorry for the dead ducks, pays fine

Union Leader Correspondent

January 10. 2014 8:01PM


NASHUA — State Rep. David Campbell, D-Nashua, pleaded no contest on Friday to killing five mallard ducks with his vehicle last month.

Campbell made the plea at the 9th Circuit Court, Nashua District Division, and paid a fine of $620 for the violation, along with a $75 restitution payment to New Hampshire Fish and Game, says court records.

Campbell said he also donated an additional $695 to New Hampshire Audubon.

"I continue to be extremely sorry and take full responsibility for causing the death of five ducks …," Campbell said in a written statement emailed Friday to the New Hampshire Union Leader. "My actions were unintentional, yet hurtful … I apologize and ask forgiveness from those I have offended, and from others that may judge me solely on the basis of this very unfortunate accident."

Campbell said that he had two drinks prior to the accident, but said they were consumed throughout an extended time during dinner. Campbell added that he was not intoxicated when he got behind the wheel of his vehicle to drive

According to court documents, Campbell was charged with one count of illegal taking of waterfowl for the Dec. 23 incident outside of the Crown Plaza in Nashua.

Campbell, 56, of 10 E. Dunstable Road, had issued a previous apology for running over the ducks with his BMW when the act first made headlines.

"This occurred while some people were feeding the ducks in the roadway nearby. I know it greatly upset them, as it did me. In spite of the accusations to the contrary, this was accidental, unintentional and deeply affected me then and now," he said earlier.

Campbell has been at the center of the duck controversy for more than two weeks. Police began investigating Campbell after an out-of-state visitor who was feeding the ducks and witnessed the incident reported it to authorities, prompting city police to issue a violation against him on Thursday.

Campbell, who is currently serving his seventh term in the House, said earlier that he has cooperated with police, reported the accident to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and spoke with hotel management.

The violation charge against Campbell is a non-criminal charge, but has been recorded as a guilty finding, according to court documents. He was represented by Attorney Eric Wilson.

Following his appearance in court on Friday, Campbell was scheduled to participate in the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce's annual Legislative Symposium as a guest speaker on the topic of bringing a gas tax to New Hampshire.

Campbell serves as chairman of the Capital Budget Overview Committee and the Long Range Capital Planning and Utilization Committee.

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