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State report critical of N.H. representative who ran over ducks

A day after saying he would not seek re-election, a state representative who ran over a group of ducks is described in a New Hampshire attorney general’s report as giving untruthful statements and refusing to cooperate.

David Campbell, a Nashua Democrat with 14 years in the Legislature, apologized and paid a $695 fine after his car struck and killed five ducks outside the Crowne Plaza hotel in Nashua on Dec. 23. He told the Telegraph on Wednesday that his decision not to run again had nothing to with that incident, saying the demands of the volunteer job took too heavy a toll on his private law practice.

Attorney General Joe Foster said yesterday that Campbell, 56, who called a city police commissioner for help after hitting the ducks, refused to cooperate with state investigators and provided some information to the police that was not credible. Foster, however, determined he couldn’t charge Campbell with reckless operation.

The commissioner, Thomas Pappas, later resigned.

The road in front of the hotel is split into two one-way driveways, and there is a small pond in between them inhabited by ducks. The police said Campbell left the hotel restaurant that night and drove the wrong way, near the hotel entrance where guests are dropped off. Several people at the scene of the incident said Campbell mentioned something about his reputation being ruined.

Campbell later called Pappas, a longtime friend and attorney who once assisted Campbell with the purchase of a home, for a ride. Foster said that once Pappas picked up Campbell, “he almost immediately took on divergent roles.” He quickly learned the Nashua police wanted to speak to Campbell but did not call them right away. He dropped Campbell off at a friend’s house and tried to secure a criminal attorney for him. Campbell told the police Pappas was his attorney, but Pappas did not identify himself that way.

Charges were considered against Pappas, but not filed, over whether he misused his power as a public servant or delayed another’s actions for the commission of a crime.

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