Former Weare PD assistant seeks renewal of restraining order against ex-police chief

  • Former Weare police chief John Velleca (center) with his attorneys Wendy Spillane (left) and Tony Soltani (right) listen to testimony during a Thursday hearing at Hillsborough County 6th Circuit Court Family Division. Jennifer Posteraro, Velleca's former administrative assistant, is seeking a renewal of a restraining order against Velleca that was first granted after she alleged he had become violent and erratic toward her after engaging in a brief sexual affair. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff

  • Former Weare police chief John Velleca (center) with his attorneys Wendy Spillane (left) and Tony Soltani (right) listen to testimony during a Thursday hearing at Hillsborough County 6th Circuit Court Family Division. Jennifer Posteraro, Velleca's former administrative assistant, is seeking a renewal of a restraining order against Velleca that was first granted after she alleged he had become violent and erratic toward her after engaging in a brief sexual affair. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff

  • Former Weare police chief John Velleca testifies during a hearing Thursday in Hillsborough County court. Caitlin Andrews / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 1/19/2017 7:06:18 PM

A former Weare police administrative assistant said she had reason to fear former Weare police chief John Velleca was tracking her through social media, possibly violating the restraining order she has against him.

Jennifer Posteraro appeared in Hillsborough County court Thursday for a final hearing on her request for an extension on the restraining order she has against Velleca, a process that began March 2016, according to court documents.

Posteraro, who was representing herself, said she sought renewal of the restraining order because she continues to fear her former boss. Posteraro said Velleca has continued to shame her publicly, including on a recent New Haven, Conn., radio broadcast, and has been monitoring her through social media.

Initial investigation

Posteraro first sought the order against Velleca in September 2014, alleging that they had engaged in a brief relationship and that after it started, he had become increasingly violent and erratic toward her. Velleca, now divorced, was married at the time.

Soon after, Posteraro was placed on administrative leave for about six months. Velleca alleged that she had threatened to disclose their relationship “as leverage for more favorable treatment at work.”

Shortly after, town officials conducted an internal investigation without telling her who had made the initial complaint. The police department eventually informed her they had determined the allegations against her were unfounded, according to court documents. Velleca resigned in late October 2014.

Posteraro filed sued the town of Weare in July 2015, accusing members of the police department of retaliating against her when she returned to work in spring 2015 after she was granted a permanent protective order against Velleca. She said she was treated differently and that her work environment at the department became hostile.

She said Thursday she later withdrew the suit against the town because Velleca was going to be a chief witness and she was afraid of him.

10 months later

Posteraro sought a one-year extension to her protective order in March 2016. Since then, there have been numerous objections and responses from both parties. An order was given to grant the extension in early September, but by Oct. 18, a motion to reconsider the order was granted. The restraining order has been upheld throughout proceedings.

Posteraro said she began noticing a large amount of traffic on her website, through her social media accounts in February 2016 – before she sought the extension. She said there several visits came from the same IP addresses located in Meriden, Conn., and Durham, Conn., and that she knew Velleca’s ex-wife had a family business located in the area. Court documents show that Velleca is currently living in Durham, Conn.

Posteraro said she felt this was reason enough to believe she was being monitored through her social media, although she emphasized she was not explicitly accusing Velleca of doing so. She said the defense was continuing to attempt to shame and discredit her during proceedings, citing requests she received from Velleca’s attorney Toni Soltani in July that asked her to reveal intimate details of her life, such as if she ever sought mental health treatment and the number of sexual partners she has had.

“There’s no reason for anyone to have this information, no less the man who has abused me,” she said.

Posteraro also said Velleca has attempted to discredit her when he appeared on the New Haven Independent radio station for an interview in July. During that interview, Velleca said he fired Posteraro because she threatened to extort him. Part of the interview, transcribed on New Haven Independent’s website, reads: “I ended up spending time with my assistant on one occasion. She tried to use that to extort me (and obtained a restraining order). I had to fire her. But it became a story. And I had to step away for the best interest of the agency. At the end of the day, there was no criminal violation. There was no violation of policy or my contract. But the reality is that I knew that too much media coverage was adversely affecting my officers. I surely believe I made a mistake. I surely believe that affected my credibility. There’s no doubt about that. It would have been very difficult to discipline from that point forward.”

Soltani fired back against Posteraro’s allegations and made a motion for the extension to be dismissed, saying she had no definitive proof that Velleca was continuing to pose an imminent threat to her. He also said she had no definitive proof that Velleca was attempting to monitor her or was having someone else attempt to monitor her, and insinuated that Posteraro would have had no way of knowing about the radio interview unless she sought it out. Judge Edward Tenney II denied the defense’s motion.

He said his final decision on her request would come down in writing.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)


Jobs



Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Concord Monitor, recently named the best paper of its size in New England.


Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301
603-224-5301

 

© 2019 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy