Thursday, November 27, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;33.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/ovc.png;2014-11-27 10:58:48
Sunday, June 23, 2013

Selectman added to police officers’ lawsuit in Lyndeborough

LYNDEBOROUGH – Two former police officers for the town have added Selectman Kevin Boette to a lawsuit they previously filed against the town, saying he called them “Nazis” and falsely charged them with criminal activities.

Thomas Burke and Paul Roy filed their original suit in October, citing hostile working conditions and alleging they lost their jobs after they started investigating the actions of then-Selectman Donald Sawin. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

LYNDEBOROUGH – Two former police officers for the town have added Selectman Kevin Boette to a lawsuit they previously filed against the town, saying he called them “Nazis” and falsely charged them with criminal activities.

Thomas Burke and Paul Roy filed their original suit in October, citing hostile working conditions and alleging they lost their jobs after they started investigating the actions of then-Selectman Donald Sawin.

They added Boette to the suit in May.

In the amended complaint filed in superior court, Burke and Roy say Boette falsely accused them of wrongdoing when they investigated certain actions taken by Sawin, and that Boette made those accusations for “improper personal reasons.”

Burke and Roy had investigated Sawin’s actions when he was on a leave of absence from his part-time position as a police officer and a member of the Board of Selectmen.

Burke was Lyndeborough’s officer in charge, a position similar to police chief, and Roy was a sergeant last June when Burke resigned, saying selectmen had told him to fire Roy, his second in command. Shortly after Burke resigned, Boette fired Roy.

The attorney general’s office, which determined there was no criminal conduct by anyone, issued a report that said the two officers tried to convince Sawin to resign from the board or risk facing criminal charges.

According to the new court papers, filed in Hillsborough County Superior Court on May 20, Boette said at a public meeting that Burke and Roy had committed crimes by threatening Sawin, and he compared the officers to police in Nazi Germany.

During the meeting, Boette told the group of about 25 residents that he felt threatened by the police officers and “concerned for my family.”

Boette also publicly charged that the plaintiffs were “only investigating Sawin because they were upset about his votes” on Police Department items and, “They told Donnie they needed a decision or he would be arrested. That was a crime.”

At the time Boette made his public statements, the court documents say, he knew they were false because the town attorney had recommended that police investigate Sawin’s conduct.

Among the actions allegedly taken by Sawin that concerned Burke and Roy was a homicide in July, when Sawin showed up at the scene after Burke said he didn’t need any assistance, in circumstances “that appeared deliberately calculated to cause the persons at the scene to assume that he was there in an official police capacity,” according to a report from the town attorney.

The original lawsuit, filed in October by the firm of Charles Douglas of Concord, charges that the town created a hostile work environment and that Burke’s “forced resignation” was done in retaliation “for performing acts encouraged by public policy.”

Sawin left the Board of Selectmen this year to run for the state House of Representatives, an election he lost.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100, ext. 304, or kcleveland@nashuatelegraph.com.