Portsmouth Police Chief Mark Newport’s executive assistant Jackie Burnett pleaded guilty Monday to reckless operation, a violation that was reduced from misdemeanor DUI impairment after her car crashed into a telephone pole at 1:25 a.m. on Feb. 25.
Burnett, 35, of Hampton, was fined $620 by Portsmouth District Court Judge John T. Pendleton. Her license was suspended for 60 days and the amount of restitution is to be determined in 60 days, according to court records.
Burnett and Newport did not respond to request for comment Tuesday. Burnett’s attorney Andrew Cotrupi also didn’t respond to a request for comment.
State Police investigated the crash because Burnett works for the city. Portsmouth Police asked State Police to cover the single vehicle crash with wires down on Peverly Hill Road in Portsmouth.
When Newport was asked via email the day after the crash if it involved someone in his department who had been at a police sanctioned fundraiser at the Rusty Hammer Pub Friday night before the crash, he said it wasn’t department sanctioned. It was a fundraiser for the Battle of the Badges.
“Unfortunately, I will not be available to speak with you until Monday,” he said that day. “I would be interested to hear more about your statement referring to your understanding of this event as being department sanctioned as this was a fundraiser to raise money for the ‘CHAD’ hockey game that two department members are participating in, not a fundraiser for our department,” Newport said in the email. He didn’t respond to further questions.