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March 05. 2014 4:23PM

Bad Joe: Levasseur stalls again

Manchester Alderman At-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur is so desperate to keep the public from learning more about his conduct as an alderman that he has filed a lawsuit to keep records regarding his handling of public business from being made public.

Last year local talk radio host Rich Girard made two requests under the state’s right-to-know law for select email correspondence involving Levasseur in his capacity as a public official. Levasseur claimed that Girard requested “all emails containing Levasseur’s name or email address.” But Girard’s emails to the city show that he requested correspondence among Levasseur and some city employees, and also Levasseur’s emails regarding the city dog park. The first request mirrored a previous email request made by this newspaper last year. Levasseur himself had asked the city for similar information. Our request was granted, as was Girard’s.

The week after the city granted Girard’s first request, Levasseur sued to prevent Girard from disclosing what he has already been given and to prevent the city from complying with his second request. Levasseur claims that his intent is to protect constituents. But his injunction request covers correspondence with city employees too. This is a familiar pattern.

Last month, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office released a lengthy report that destroyed Levasseur’s repeated claims that various Manchester police officers had harassed, intimidated, threatened and in one case assaulted him. Not one claim could be substantiated, and no witness backed up Levasseur.

The embattled alderman had to know that the AG’s investigation would find exactly what it found, which is why he spent months delaying the investigation and trying to convince the AG’s office to halt it. Now he is trying to prevent the release of public documents that would shed more light on how he has conducted himself as an alderman. What is he trying to hide?


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