WMUR Channel 9 News is reporting that Nashua Police Commissioner Tom Pappas has now resigned his position after interfering with an investigation over an incident in which New Hampshire State Representative David Campbell struck and killed several ducks with his car, allegedly while driving under the influence.
Back in December of last year, Representative Campbell, a Democrat who has served seven total terms in the New Hampshire House of Representatives since 1978, made headlines after admitting that he hit some ducks outside the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire. It was outside the Crowne Plaza Hotelthat retired U.S. Marine officer James Murphy of Florida stood. In an interview with the Nashua Telegraph, he described the scene, “All of a sudden, this 5 Series BMW comes up, it’s going about 15 miles an hour, and then when he gets to the ducks, it’s not like it even slowed down. It just crushed all of the ducks.” Murphy confronted Campbell about it, unaware to the driver’s position as an elected official, but said that he felt Campbell showed “blatant disregard” with the act he had just committed.
WMUR notes that the hotel employee who called 911 to report the incident, described Representative Campbell as being drunk. It’s important to note here that Mr. Campbell refutes this saying he had two drinks but was not intoxicated at the time. This is where Mr. Pappas comes in.
The Telegraph reports that Pappas drove Campbell away from the scene of the crime and then delayed police questioning over a phone call, which WMUR got a recording of. In it, Pappas can be heard saying, “He’s a friend of mine, he’s at a friend’s house – his phone did. Um – I can uhh – is it ok if I have him come to the station tomorrow morning?” Police agreed to the request, but this has New Hampshire Attorney General’s office now investigating.
This has all led up to Pappas resigning his position. In a letter to Governor Maggie Hassan (who reappointed Pappas to his position last August), Pappas wrote, “I deeply regret my part in the events of December 23, 2013 and apologize to you, the Nashua Police Department and the public for the disruption that has occurred as a consequence of them.”
It seems like Tom Pappas was considered a worthy commissioner by his colleagues. Fellow Nashua Police Commissioner Robert Valade told the Telegraph, “I’m sorry that Commissioner Pappas is leaving. He was an asset to the commission, no doubt about that.” Nashua Alderman Ken Siegel told WMUR, ““I just think he was trying to help a friend, and unfortunately he made a bad decision, and now he did the honorable thing and he resigned.” Pappas has stated he will cooperate in, “any manner necessary” with the Attorney General’s investigation.
As for Campbell, he has already apologized for killing the ducks, and paid $695 in fines for “illegally taking waterfowl.” He still remains in office, though who knows how long he’ll last now.
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