Judge tosses complaint claiming Manchester alderman part of 'secret police force'

·2 min read

Sep. 23—A judge has dismissed a complaint filed against a Manchester alderman by a Massachusetts man claiming the longtime city official is part of a secret police force.

Paul Francis Stanford, of Plymouth, Mass., filed the complaint against Ward 12 Alderman Keith Hirschmann in Hillsborough Superior Court Northern District, seeking a restraining order.

In his complaint, Stanford claims Hirschmann is a member of a "secret extra-governmental task force who has been surveilling (Stanford) and infiltrated his electronic communications."

Stanford said he had contact with Hirschmann while investigating a cold-case homicide in Manchester, the murder of Denise Robert, a Union Leader employee who was shot and killed on Aug. 30, 2015, on Ray Street in Manchester's North End.

Attorney and Alderman At Large Joe Kelly Levasseur represented Hirschmann during a Sept. 3 hearing on the complaint, where he denied any meaningful interaction between his client and Stanford. Hirschmann responded to one or two emails from the plaintiff in his role as an alderman, said Levasseur, who argued there are no grounds for a restraining order.

In a ruling issued Wednesday, Judge N. William Delker found "not a shred of credible evidence to support the plaintiff's beliefs."

"The plaintiff presented at the hearing as a well-spoken, professional individual," Delker wrote in his ruling. "He acknowledged that his accusations sound insane but urged the court to review the exhibits with an open mind. The Court has done so."

Delker went on to say exhibits submitted by the plaintiff appear to be the product of "a paranoid delusion."

"The unanswered emails, which the plaintiff claims are proof that his electronic communications are intercepted, are profanity-laced ad hominem attacks on the public officials listed as recipients of the emails," Delker wrote.

"Given the abusive nature of the emails, it is not surprising that the plaintiff did not receive an official response. Since this case is completely devoid of factual basis, the plaintiff's request for a restraining order is denied and the case is dismissed."

Hirschmann, who isn't seeking reelection to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen this November, said he felt "bullied" by Stanford's emails.

"I should have been the one looking for a restraining order," Hirschmann said. "I've never met the guy. He lives in another state."

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