Sunapee couple requests restraining order against police chief

  • A Sunapee man previously accused of tampering with the March 2016 school board elections has filed a request for a restraining order against the town’s police chief. Monitor file

Monitor staff
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

A Sunapee man previously accused of tampering with the March 2016 school board elections has filed a request for a restraining order against the town’s police chief.

Joseph Furlong and his wife, Heather Furlong, say they feel threatened by Sunapee Police Chief David Cahill. Joesph Furlong said in court documents that his family has been ostracized by the community and unfairly attacked since his arrest earlier this year on allegations of voter fraud.

“My witnesses, my innocence and my rights have been suppressed by Dave,” the request reads. “This creates a constant state of fear for me because I live in the town where Dave Cahill is chief of police. Since I was arrested, my life has been filled with fear and misery, and I am now asking for protection for me and my wife from Dave Cahill.”

Joseph Furlong was arrested in February and accused of altering an email sent by a school board candidate in an attempt to turn the election in favor of his wife, a candidate for a two-year seat. Heather Furlong won the election by a significant margin, but resigned from her post soon after her husband’s arrest. The criminal case has since been dropped.

Joseph Furlong said he was framed for political reasons and that the chief ignored from the outset key evidence that would have proved his innocence. He and his wife filed a request for a restraining order in Sullivan County Superior Court in late August, and a judge has since agreed to hear the case at a hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Cahill declined to comment on the Furlongs’ request for a restraining order Tuesday, and directed any future inquires to the town’s attorney.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office dropped six misdemeanor charges against Joseph Furlong in July, but filed three new replacement charges in Newport’s district court. Judge Gregory Michael threw out the entire case last month, ruling in favor of the defense’s motion to dismiss.

The state had previously accused Joseph Furlong of altering the email. Conversely, the newer charges accused Furlong of working in partnership with Adam Gaw, a resident of Manchester.

Prosecutors had believed Gaw was a figment of Furlong’s imagination, and that he was created to “divert responsibility for the alleged conduct,” Furlong’s attorney, Jim Rosenberg, said in the motion to dismiss. However, Gaw ultimately came forward to police and took responsibility for sending the email in question, according to court documents.

In an Aug. 22 order, Michael ruled that by the time the Attorney General’s Office filed the new charges, the one-year statute of limitations had expired.

The Attorney General’s Office can appeal the lower court’s ruling.

Gaw faces three counts of forgery and two counts of false documents. That case is still pending in district court.

The Furlongs said in court documents that their children are no longer able to attend public school with Cahill’s children because they were subject to constant harassment.

“Once active, visible volunteers in our community, today we live in fear and isolation,” the couple said.