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Former Claremont officer charged by AG

Union Leader Correspondent

April 27. 2018 4:23PM


CLAREMONT — A former Claremont police sergeant was arrested Thursday on six charges related to a February search in which the Attorney General’s office said he and another officer falsified documentation.

Ian Kibbe, 30, of Springfield, Vt., is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit perjury, one count of attempted perjury, two counts of unsworn falsification and two counts of obstructing government administration, Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald said in a news release.

MacDonald announced on March 28 that he had started an investigation into the conduct of Kibbe and Mark Burch based on information provided by Claremont Chief Mark Chase.

Geoffrey W.R. Ward, senior assistant attorney general, said Thursday that the investigation of Burch continues.

Ward also said that a 2016 officer-involved shooting case in which Kibbe shot and killed a Claremont man remains under review in light of the investigation.

Former Attorney General Joseph Foster’s office had ruled Kibbe was justified in killing Cody Lafont, 25, on Sept. 25, 2016.

He shot Lafont three times in the chest; the gun Lafont had in his hand was not loaded, prosecutors said.

Lafont’s mother, Tracy McEachern, has said she is glad he is no longer working as a police officer; Kibbe and Burch were fired on March 21.

“It definitely makes me wonder of his account of the incidents regarding my son’s death,” McEachern said Thursday of Kibbe. “No witnesses and now these charges.”

At the time of that shooting, Kibbe had been with the department for 2 1/2 years.

Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway said Thursday that he couldn’t go into specifics, but there have been cases pending in his office that had to be dropped in light of the investigation against the former Claremont police officers.

“We have an ethical obligation to notify people whose cases are impacted by this,” he said.

Kibbe was released on $5,000 cash bail, the attorney general said. He will be arraigned in Sullivan County Superior Court at a later date.

State prosecutors received information from Chase about Kibbe and Burch on March 15.

Chase said Thursday he has faith in the AG’s office investigators and process.

But he acknowledged the investigation has been hard on his department.

“I’m proud of the officers that are still here and I think they are working hard and I don’t want this to be a reflection of all law enforcement by any means,” Chase said. “It hurts the department and it potentially hurts our reputation and we don’t want that. We work hard to do the right thing all the time. Not a great day.”

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