Judge denies restraining order against Sunapee police chief

  • Heather Furlong questions Sunapee Police Chief David Cahill on Sept. 7, 2017, in Sullivan County Superior Court in Newport, N.H.,. Her husband, Joseph Furlong, is beside her. The couple was in court seeking a restraining order against Cahill. Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck / Valley News

Monitor staff
Saturday, September 09, 2017

A Sullivan County Superior Court judge has dismissed a Sunapee family’s request for a restraining order against the town’s police chief.

Presiding judge Brian Tucker wrote in a Friday order that Sunapee police Chief David Cahill had only interacted with the Furlongs “in the course of his official duties” while Joseph Furlong was under criminal investigation, or at Heather Furlong’s own initiation.

“The evidence presented no instance of unwarranted contact – direct or indirect, real or threatened – that justifies a restraining order, Tucker wrote. “The subjective views of the Furlongs are not enough to support issuing the order.”

The Furlongs had also asked for a stalking order of protection, which was also denied.

The Furlongs had argued in court Thursday that Cahill had sided with political opponents of the family and ignored exculpatory evidence to pursue criminal charges against Joseph Furlong, accusing him of doctoring an email to sway a 2016 school board election in his wife’s favor.

Initial charges against Furlong were dropped by the Attorney General’s office, though the state later filed different charges, accusing him of working with somebody who had actually altered the email. Those charges were dismissed because the statute of limitations had run out. The AG’s office has appealed.

In an email, the Furlongs, who represented themselves in court, said that the judge’s order was “within the requirements which limit the issuance of a restraining order.”

“Although we were not able to prove that we met the threshold of contact to warrant a restraining order against David Cahill, we can say positively, we were heard. For this we are grateful. We will not hesitate to use other resources if we feel the actions by David Cahill, which substantiated our complaint, persist,” they wrote.

(Lola Duffort can be reached at 369-3321 or lduffort@cmonitor.com.)