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Letter: Improbable charges against baseball official

Tomorrow, the city’s case against Bob Lachapelle continues with a probable cause hearing.

I served on the board of directors for Concord Northeast Baseball and Softball League during some period of time that Lachapelle served as president. Our board was large, with more than a dozen directors. Lachapelle assumed much of the responsibility for the organization’s operations. It seemed that if Bob didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done.

It would be easy for me to understand how documentation for receipt and invoices could go missing. Moreover, accounting controls and procedures enjoyed by other organizations in which I’ve been involved seemed lacking in ours. Lachapelle has been charged with three counts of theft by unauthorized taking. The question of “authorized” versus “unauthorized” simply seems unanswerable.

During my association with Concord Northeast, I observed the many long hours Lachapelle worked on maintaining the fields and grounds. For example, he organized a breakfast club that met every Saturday, in season, at a local restaurant. After breakfast, we’d all go up to work on the fields and grounds. I enjoyed the camaraderie of meeting for breakfast and marveled at how much work we were able to get done as a group. I observed Lachapelle maintaining mowing equipment and irrigation systems, hanging signs and assembling bleachers. He often provided tools, parts and supplies.

Seeing the devotion and energy Lachapelle had for Concord Northeast, it’s impossible for me to believe that he’d deplete the organization’s resources for his personal gain. As the court and the city prosecutor consider moving forward with finding probable cause, I’d ask them to stop and consider just how improbable the charges actually are.



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