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Man who took hostages at NH Clinton campaign office in 2007 claims he is not receiving prescription medications in jail

By DOUG ALDEN
New Hampshire Union Leader

August 17. 2016 7:41PM
LEELAND EISENBERG 

MANCHESTER — A Concord man with a history of mental issues waived his right to a probable cause hearing Wednesday on charges of bank robbery and drug possession.

Leeland Eisenberg made national headlines in 2007 when he held six people hostage at Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign office in Rochester. He has had a series of legal problems since then, including parole and probation violations that have repeatedly placed him in and out of custody before his latest arrest on Aug. 2, hours after the Citizens Bank at 875 Elm St. was robbed by a man with a note claiming he had a gun.

Eisenberg, 55, made only a brief appearance Wednesday in 9th Circuit Court, District Division, wearing the orange jumpsuit of an inmate at the Valley Street jail.

After Eisenberg agreed to waive the probable cause hearing, Judge John Coughlin bound the case over to Hillsborough County Superior Court, where Eisenberg will be able to enter a plea to the felony charges at a date still to be determined.

Public defender Todd Russell spoke on Eisenberg’s behalf, asking Coughlin to assist in straightening out an issue with prescription medication Russell said his client was not receiving at the jail.

The hearing was delayed for about an hour before Eisenberg was led back into the courtroom, where Russell, prosecutors and Coughlin worked out a solution. Coughlin added a stipulation to Eisenberg’s bail conditions, recommending that the jail provide and allow Eisenberg to take all medications prescribed to him at Catholic Medical Center during a 72-hour hold requested by the Department of Corrections.

Eisenberg was transferred from CMC to the jail with prescriptions for five different medications, two of which Russell said Eisenberg still wasn’t receiving.

“I guess I find it hard to believe that a nurse practitioner, based on very limited interaction with Mr. Eisenberg, decides to take him off two of his five medications he’s been on for an extended period of time,” Russell said in court.

Russell said he never got an explanation, but was satisfied when Coughlin agreed to specify in the recommendation that the jail administer all of the medications prescribed during Eisenberg’s stay at CMC.

The medications Eisenberg wasn’t getting at the jail were Seroquel, a powerful anti-psychotic, and Lamictal, used to treat seizures and sometimes mood episodes in adults with bipolar disorder.

Eisenberg has been public about his troubles with mental illness, saying the standoff with Rochester police on Nov. 30, 2007, was a desperate attempt to receive psychiatric care. Eisenberg released all of the hostages unharmed and surrendered to police.

Eisenberg was most recently paroled by the state on June 7. He was out less than two months before he was arrested hours after the robbery at the Manchester bank on Aug. 2.

According to court documents, police circulated security footage and were able to identify Eisenberg within an hour. A parole officer in Concord called saying it was Eisenberg in the security photos and a witness who was working outside the bank told investigators later that he recognized “Leeland” from a time when both men were at the same correctional facility.

Two officers patrolling in Valley Street Cemetery noticed a man matching Eisenberg’s description and called out to him by name. Eisenberg responded, provided his ID and was taken into custody without incident, police said. Eisenberg had 6.5 grams of crack cocaine in his pocket, according to a statement from the arresting officers.

dalden@unionleader.com


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