Rep.’s welfare fraud case headed for settlement

NASHUA – A Superior Court judge has given the parties in the welfare fraud case of Salem State Rep. John Manning about six weeks to work out an agreement and bring it before the court.

Judge Charles Temple, noting in a dispositional conference order that the “primary issue … is restitution,” urged the parties to come to an agreement ahead of a status hearing that’s scheduled for Sept. 12.

Manning, 66, of 36 MacLarnon Road, is charged with two counts of public assistance – prohibited acts, which stem from allegations he “intentionally made false statements to the state Department of Health and Human Services … resulting in the receipt of assistance benefits” totaling roughly $12,640, “to which he was not entitled,” according to the indictments.

One indictment is a Class A felony, the other a Class B felony.

According to the allegations in the first indictment, Manning, between March 1, 2013, and Sept. 30, 2014, stated that his niece, Gabrielle Wojtyna, was a member of his household “when in fact she was not residing in the home.”

The other indictment alleges that Manning “intentionally failed to disclose” that his son, Stephen Manning, was employed by John Manning’s Salem restaurant, which led to the elder Manning receiving in June and July 2015 roughly $714 in benefits to which he wasn’t entitled.

A veteran Republican legislator currently in his fifth consecutive term in the House, Manning also serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, and is a member of the Live Free or Die

Alliance.

According to Manning’s bio on the House website, he is single and has eight children. He owns the Rockingham Cafe in Salem, and also is a horse trainer.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.