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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lozeau investigative files released; reveal probe reopened after worker said Nashua Mayor upset over husband’s lack of ‘real job,’ pot use

WARNING TO READERS: The documents attached to this story contain crass and profane language not suitable for children.

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WARNING TO READERS: The documents attached to this story contain crass and profane language not suitable for children.

NASHUA – The police investigation into possible bid-rigging and drug use by David Lozeau went dormant for nearly a year before a civilian police employee told a detective that Mayor Donnalee Lozeau was upset with her husband for not getting a “real job,” and spending all day smoking marijuana with a public works employee.

Police briefly rekindled their interest of the investigation into Lozeau, a city bail commissioner, after that conversation at police headquarters on Nov. 13, 2012, according to about 100 pages of police investigative documents released to the media Monday through David Lozeau’s attorney. The Lozeau’s have accused police, and specifically Police Chief John Seusing, of reopening the investigation and leaking its existence to The Telegraph to smear Donnalee Lozeau because of her criticism of the police unions and their contract negotiations with the city.

On Monday, David Lozeau’s attorney, Richard Lehmann, said the documents were released to show David Lozeau, who was never charged with a crime, has nothing to hide.

“As much as it’s an invasion of privacy for those recordings to have been made … taking steps to prevent their disclosure would create the appearance, unfair as it may be, that Mr. Lozeau had something to hide, even if he was trying to protect his privacy,” Lehmann said.

But Seusing said Monday he brought his concerns about David Lozeau to Nashua district court Judge James Leary, David Lozeau’s boss, in mid-February of this year because police confirmed through other investigations that David Lozeau was still associating with known drug dealers. Seusing said his concerns began with a December 2011 memorandum written by Lt. Michael Carignan, the head of the department’s drug unit, detailing concerns with David Lozeau, including accusations of him lying to police. That was around the time Seusing was sworn in as chief. That memo, combined with the results of the other investigations – not Donnalee Lozeau’s State of the City address – prompted Seusing to approach Leary this year, he said.

“I didn’t just drop it for a year. There were other investigations going on,” Seusing said Monday. “These wheels were in motion well before that. It was clear to us he should not fulfill those duties as a bail commissioner in our building.”

The documents show that police were told by confidential informants about a host of alleged crimes and indiscretions by both Lozeaus, none of which have resulted in criminal charges.

Police also had their own concerns about David Lozeau’s actions as a bail commissioner and believed he was acting improperly by disclosing information about police informants and doing favors for friends by issuing low bail amounts for some suspects, according to the documents.

The allegations police looked into ranged from both Lozeaus accepting bribes for information about bids for work at Southern New Hampshire Services – Donnalee Lozeau’s previous employer – to claims that David Lozeau told drug dealers about possible police raids and informants, and lowered some bail amounts in exchange for drugs, according to the investigation.

Lehmann said the documents show police had no new information that should have prompted the investigation to be reopened more recently. The allegations were the same that police had investigated in 2009-10.

“What’s the new information? It’s rehashing the same old stuff,” he said. “There’s not enough new information. It’s really very empty.”

The memorandum from Carignan to his supervisor, Capt. George McCarthy, details concerns members of the police department had with David Lozeau as of December 2011, including granting bail to suspects arrested for violating domestic violence protective orders, including after being told state law prohibits bail for those suspects.

Police also suspected David Lozeau was leaking information about suspects who were working as confidential informants, according to the documents.

“In my professional opinion, it is clear to me that Mr. Lozeau is in fact advising the informant in the telephone call that (the suspect) is in fact working for the police, which puts (the suspect) as well as several other undercover officers at great risk,” Carignan wrote.

In summer 2011, another confidential informant told police he could buy marijuana from a source who, according to information police had previously been given, also sold drugs to David Lozeau. The informant tried to buy the drugs for two months. The suspected drug dealer and Lozeau were seen by police several times during the investigation and Carignan believed David Lozeau told the man that the informant was working with police, according to police.

“It is clear that when questioned by certain friends, he will provide information indicating someone is working as an informant for the police, thereby protecting that person’s drug dealing status,” Carignan wrote. “It is again clear that by him doing so, it puts officers and confidential informants at risk.”

The next document in the files released Wednesday is dated almost a year later when a brief report is filed on Nov. 13, 2012, about an “impromptu” meeting at the police department that included an unnamed civilian employee.

The conversation briefly turned to contract negotiations, according to the report, and then the civilian employee told police that David Lozeau smokes marijuana every day with a public works employee and that it bothered Donnalee Lozeau, according to the documents.

Police re-interviewed an informant who they talked to earlier in the investigation, who said he had given David Lozeau marijuana in exchange for lowering bail for the informant’s friends, according to the documents.

In statements released by his attorney, David Lozeau said he and Donnalee Lozeau found out about the investigation the day after Donnalee Lozeau had given her State of the City address that included criticism of the police unions for not accepting concessions other city employees had.

“It appears (Seusing) suddenly developed a concern about an investigation that was over three years old and that had gone absolutely nowhere,” David Lozeau said in a statement released along with the police documents Monday.

Police posted signs at the police station that week indicating he was not allowed in the building, David Lozeau said.

“The simple and undeniable fact is that complaint about me was made to the court only after the mayor, my wife, called out the police department publicly …,” he said.

Lehmann said Monday David Lozeau isn’t interested in pursuing the matter any further, either by calling for an independent investigation or filing a court action of some kind.

“He is very interested in going back to the quiet existence he was living before,” Lehmann said. “This isn’t East Germany. I don’t think anyone would appreciate that happening to them. So today, he releases those conversations, and tomorrow, he wants to move on.”

David Lozeau said in his statement he thought Nashua residents had a right to know what happened.

“I do not intend to make any further public statements about this matter. I was subjected to police investigation years ago. The case was closed and the matter was filed away,” he said. “Now, in the middle of a political battle between the NPD and my wife, those files have suddenly resurfaced. I am a lifelong resident of the Nashua community, and I am willing to rest on the reputation I have earned during that time.”

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashua
telegraph.com. Also follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).