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Second Nashua Police Commissioner faces accusations

Union Leader Correspondent

January 22. 2014 12:10AM

In the height of a controversy surrounding Nashua Police Commissioner Thomas Pappas, a second police commissioner on Tuesday was publicly accused of unrelated misconduct.

A former officer with the city's police department, Anthony J. Pivero is alleging that longtime Commissioner Thomas Maffee may have intervened during a relative's arrest in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

On Tuesday, Pivero filed a written complaint with the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office, and advised Gov. Maggie Hassan's office regarding his concerns with alleged police activity involving Maffee's former brother-in-law.

"It is alleged that Commissioner Maffee had certain criminal charges dismissed or not brought forward on an individual known to him regarding a prostitution sting in the city of Nashua," Pivero wrote in a letter to Hassan. "It is believed that this individual was in the custody of the Nashua Police Department when certain communications were made by Commissioner Maffee to have the individual released."

Pivero addressed the Nashua Police Commission about the matter during its regular meeting Tuesday night at the police station.

He claims that Maffee's former brother-in-law was released, and no charges were brought forward by the department.

"I hope this complaint will be addressed and thoroughly investigated in the interests of justice," said Pivero.

Members of the commission refused to comment on Pivero's allegations Tuesday, maintaining the public comment period of the meeting is not a question-and-answer session.

Maffee, who has been a commissioner for nearly 30 years, is the second police commissioner in the past two weeks accused of intervening in police investigations.

Pappas, the board's chairman, is under scrutiny for picking up state Rep. David Campbell on Dec. 23 at the Crowne Plaza hotel after Campbell — described as drunk in a call to police by a hotel manager — had a few drinks and ran over some ducks with his BMW, killing five of them.

Pappas, Campbell's friend and attorney, then contacted the police department about two hours after the accident to inquire whether police were looking to speak with Campbell, according to a police report.

Pappas then asked if Campbell could come to the station the following morning; police obliged, according to the report.

Since Pappas' involvement in the matter has become public, Attorney General Joe Foster said last week that his department is reviewing police reports and audio recordings from the incident to determine whether a further probe is necessary.

"It will be appropriately investigated and the Governor and Executive Council will be the authority on whatever actions they deem appropriate," Alderman Mike Soucy, Ward 5, said this week.

Others on the Nashua Board of Aldermen were not as lenient, including Alderman Ken Siegel, Ward 9, and Alderman-at-large Diane Sheehan, who both said this week that Pappas should resign.

The commission went into a non-public session following its regular board meeting, and was joined by Stephen Bennett, the city attorney.


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