For Levasseur, a focus on – and past with – the attorney general

  • Executive Council candidate Joseph Kelly Levasseur walks in the Londonderry Old Home Day parade on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

Monitor staff
Thursday, November 03, 2016

One of the two “biggest issues at stake” for the next Executive Council, according to Joe Kelly Levasseur, is appointing the next attorney general.

The Republican District 4 Executive Council candidate noted his focus on the state’s top prosecutor in an email interview with the Monitor last week.

“We need an experienced criminal trial attorney – either a prosecutor or defense attorney – hopefully someone with both experiences, to become the next AG,” Levasseur wrote. “Someone with unquestioned integrity that will work tirelessly for victims’ rights.”

As for current Attorney General Joseph Foster, Levasseur said in a previous interview that content in a 2014 report by Foster was a “total fabrication” and “a political witchhunt.”

The report, which involves the Executive Council candidate and the Manchester Police Department, caused Levasseur to be censured by his fellow Manchester aldermen and included unflattering reports of his conduct.

If Levasseur is elected, he would be one of the five Executive Council members to give input and help appoint the next attorney general.

Appointed in the spring of 2013, Foster will see his four-year term end next year.

Foster’s investigation involving Levasseur was opened after former Manchester police Chief David Mara received an email from Levasseur mentioning a January 2013 incident outside Manchester City Hall.

Levasseur, a Manchester alderman, restaurant owner and personal injury lawyer, wrote Mara that “Steve Maloney continues to use his position as a Manchester police officer to intimidate me as an elected city official.”

The email went on to accuse Maloney of placing his hands on Levasseur and poking him in the chest. He also alleged the same officer was interfering with an investigation into a case where his client was allegedly assaulted by a former Manchester police officer.

Near the end of the email, Levasseur wrote: “No matter what Mr. Maloney or any other Manchester police officer thinks about me, this case is about the alleged assault on a woman.”

Mara forwarded the email to the attorney general’s office, which then opened an investigation. In the final report, the attorney general concluded there was not enough evidence to support Levasseur’s claims.

The report, dated Feb. 12, 2014, tried to determine what exactly happened on Jan. 15, 2013. Levasseur originally claimed in his email that Maloney poked him outside Manchester City Hall after an aldermen meeting.

In his interview with the attorney general, Levasseur said Maloney didn’t touch him, but “poked at” and “nicked” him. Others interviewed during the investigation said the “heated” and “animated” discussion remained non-physical and revolved around Maloney questioning the manhood of Levasseur, who in turn “grabbed his own crotch, stood up on his toes, and continued to argue.”

Levasseur, for his part, said in an August interview that he was screamed at during the incident and “told to get on the f------ ground,” but he never raised his voice and had his hands down by his side.

In the report, the attorney general’s office wrote that it considered charging Levasseur criminally for giving false information about the poking incident, though a charge was never filed.

At the meeting following the 2014 report’s release, the board of aldermen voted to censure Levasseur – who was re-elected after the 2013 incident – according to several news reports.

Asked about the report’s findings, Levasseur said, “That report has nothing to do with my position as an alderman.” He added he felt it was strictly related to a client he was arguing at the time had been sexually assaulted by a Manchester police officer.

When the issue went to the attorney general’s office, Levasseur said, “it turned into a political football.”

(Elodie Reed can be reached at 369-3306, ereed@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @elodie_reed.)