Former Manchester alderman Tommy Katsiantonis withdraws guilty plea in tax evasion caseBy Mark Hayward
New Hampshire Union Leader
January 03. 2018 12:43PM
MANCHESTER — Former Manchester politician and restaurant owner Tommy Katsiantonis withdrew a guilty plea in court Wednesday, setting the stage for a trial in March.
Katsiantonis was scheduled to plead guilty in Hillsborough County Superior Court-North.
Judge Kenneth Brown told Katsiantonis he had a right to withdraw the plea, but Brown would not accept a plea deal in the future.
“It’s your last opportunity to present a negotiated or capped plea,” Brown said.
If Katsiantonis decides to plead guilty in the future, it will have to be a naked plea, which means that Brown will have full discretion to set a sentence.
Jury selection for a trial, expected to last four days, should begin March 12, said Assistant Attorney General Jesse O’Neill.
In June, Katsiantonis was indicted on multiple counts of theft and tax evasion.
The charges stem from operation of two restaurants: Grand Slam II and his signature restaurant — Tommy K’s on Brown Avenue.
In total, he is charged with stealing $423,000 in rooms-and-meals tax revenues collected at the restaurants and due to the state. He also was charged with evasion of business profits taxes.
A Democrat, Katsiantonis was a three-term alderman and six-term state representative who represented Ward 8 in south Manchester.
Last year, he opted not to run for re-election to the alderman position.
In December, Tommy K’s abruptly closed after a bankruptcy judge ordered liquidation of the property. He did so after ruling that Katsiantonis had improperly withdrawn $70,000 from an account reserved for rooms-and-meals taxes.