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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hudson crime probe ongoing

HUDSON – A state investigation into a police department captain is apparently still ongoing.

The attorney general’s office has been investigating Hudson police Capt. Donald Breault since September for potentially committing a financial crime.

Calls this week to the attorney general’s office about the investigation were not returned but Town Administrator Steve Malizia said Breault is still on paid leave.

Town officials haven’t heard from the state on the investigation, so they are under the assumption it is still ongoing, Malizia said. Breault was placed on leave Sept. 8 pending the investigation.

“Nothing has changed,” Malizia said. “His status is still the same.”

The attorney general’s office had initially set a mid-October deadline for completing the investigation, but several recent murder cases pushed it back.

Prosecutors finalized a last round of interviews at police headquarters in November, Assistant Attorney General Ben Agati said at the time.

The investigation was then moving into a review phase, after which a decision would be reached, Agati said.

The state attorney general’s office has declined to identify the officer under investigation, but from the start of the inquiry, town officials have confirmed that it is Breault, a 20-year department veteran.

The investigation started as a broad public-integrity issue and was then narrowed in scope to a potential financial crime, Agati said.

Agati has said he can’t provide any further detail.

The attorney general’s office, a county attorney, state police or a neighboring police department typically head the investigation within a police department to avoid conflict of interest.

Hudson police have declined to comment on the investigation. Selectmen have also declined to comment, with several board members saying it is a personnel matter.

Albert McKeon can be reached at 594-5832 or amckeon@nashuatelegraph.com.