By DAMIEN FISHER, InDepthNH.org
Upset that state Sen. Keith Murphy, R-Manchester, voted against bigger pensions for cops and in favor of legalizing pot, Manchester Police Officer Kyle Daly allegedly targeted Murphy for removal.
“The police are sick and tired of Republicans going off the reservation, and we are going to take them out one at a time,” Daly reportedly said.
That’s the claim Murphy’s legal team is making in a new court filing seeking evidence they say will link Daly, who is also the chief Steward with the Manchester Police Patrolman’s Association, to an effort to oust Murphy following his arrest for simple assault.
Murphy’s lawyer, Donna Brown, filed a motion in the 9th Circuit District Court in Manchester seeking evidence of police communication to back up the claims.
Daly and Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg both lobbied lawmakers in Concord for the $250,000,000 pension changes that would have financially benefited 147 Manchester Police officers and firefighters. Aldenberg also asked Murphy to vote against marijuana legalization, according to Brown’s motion.
Brown wants communications between Manchester Police, the Office of City Solicitor and the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Officer about the decision to charge Murphy, communications about Aldenberg’s involvement in the decision to bring charges, as well as communications about Manchester Police lobbying efforts involving Murphy, among other documents.
Following Murphy’s arrest, Daly reportedly got on the phone with Senate President Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, to ask if Murphy would be removed from his elected position. Bradley told Daly that Murphy has the right to be presumed innocent, like all Americans. Bradley told Brown that he found Daly’s questioning about Murphy’s status “highly unusual.”
“Senator Bradley explained that his tone to Daly was ‘I’m not talking to you, Bud,’” Brown wrote.
Murphy further claims he was contacted by several people after his arrest who warned him Daly planned to oust him from office. Daly was even considering his own run for State Senate to challenge Murphy.
Murphy maintains he was acting in self defense on April 30 when he had a physical altercation with former employee Nicholas Soter at his restaurant, Murphy’s Diner. Murphy allegedly spit on Soter and took a swing at him after being confronted about withheld tips.
But police ignored Murphy’s version of events, which include Soter being the aggressor, making threats, and knocking over chairs as he allegedly advanced on Murphy. Murphy now says police ignored several witnesses who backed him up, and refused to file charges against Soter. Instead they pushed ahead with their investigation and arrested him on June 19 on misdemeanor simple assault charges.
Two of the officers who investigated the alleged assault at Murphy’s Diner are also on the list of cops who would have benefited from the pension change, according to Brown.
The complaints Manchester Police filed against Murphy list Aldenberg as the signing complainant, but his name is crossed off and replaced with Det. Garrett Bombard, Brown writes in the motion.
“A fair assumption for this is that the Manchester Police themselves were concerned about Chief Aldenberg signing a complaint against a sitting senator when he had recently lobbied unsuccessfully for legislation favorable to the muncher Police Department,” Brown wrote.