Hudson - Litchfield News March 25, 2011 - 9
Breault Trial Set to End Soon
by Doug Robinson Hudson Police Chief Jason Lavoie continued to answer questions for the third day from NH Assistant General James Vara during the trial of Hudson Police Captain Donald Breault. Breault was first suspended and then fired last year after being accused of changing his work hours in an effort to profit more than $2,600. Upon completing the direct examination, Defense Attorney Eric Wilson went to work to challenge the many documents presented by the NH Attorney General’s office. Breault’s attorney, Eric Wilson, challenged Chief Lavoie to his “certainty” to the accuracy of the work hours entered by Breault, to which Lavoie stated he could not “vouch” with certainty. Wilson also challenged Lavoie to his entering of comp time hours for himself. “You did what he did,” commented Wilson. Lavoie stated, “I didn’t seek a benefit. As Chief of Police, I should be able to [record comp hours].” “So it’s okay for you, but not for him?” questioned Wilson. “Yes,” stated Lavoie. Wilson continued to question the incitements as he reviewed
charge by charge. Lavoie admitted that he could not say with certainty that Breault was or was not working more hours above his regular work schedule for budget preparation. Lavoie also stated that Breault may have been admitted into the police station during his entry of comp work hours during a snow storm. Evidence presented by the Attorney General suggests that Breault was not in the building, as Breault stated. Wilson suggested that Breault had been let into the police station and his entry had been gained by another employee; thus, a record of his scan card would not have been completed. The NH Assistant General continued to call witness after witness to the stand, questioning each with regards to town policies and the accuracies of Breault’s attendance records. John Beike of the Hudson Information Technology Department testified that he, at the request of Chief Lavoie, downloaded a software program known as Spector in an effort to capture and record all of Breault’s activities for his computer use. Initially the program was set to record every three minutes; however, after having received and analyzed the data, the software program was set to record Breault’s computer activities every 15 seconds. The parameters of the program were established to capture every
keystroke as well as a picture of the computer screen in which Breault was using. The Chief was looking for “not related to work stuff,” commented Beike. Hudson Finance Director Kathy Carpentier testified to Breault’s receipt of a $9,718 earned time payment he received in August 2009. Per town policy, all earned time (vacation, personal, and sick) above 720 hours accrued are paid out to Hudson employees yearly. The central issue regarding Breault’s trial is that he manipulated hours worked from comp time to earned time in an effort to earn more wages, while maintaining a 40-hour workweek. Defense Attorney Wilson stated that for the five years that Breault had been Captain, his earned time payout had not changed much and that the monies paid yearly were very close in payout. Dorothy Carey, Hudson Police Secretary, stated that “I knew
he wasn’t happy [about not being chosen to be Hudson’s new police chief] because he didn’t make chief. I told him he needed something to do to help pass the time with his three years left [before retirement].” As Dorothy created and processed the payroll each Monday morning, she was a vital part of the Attorney General’s investigation. Date after date, the Attorney General reviewed payroll files that had been entered by Dorothy, yet later changed by Breault. Some of these changes were months, if not nearly a year after the date worked. She also testified as to Breault’s leaving early, as well as questions about his working at Old Home Days. Defense Attorney Wilson questioned Dorothy regarding Police Chief Lavoie’s holding Command Meetings, to which Breault was “excluded.” Dorothy stated that she did not know anything about that. Former Police Chief Richard Gendron then took the stand to
answered questions about violation of the Sequestration laws, payroll procedures, comp time procedures, as well as hours, to which he stated, “I did not work those hours.” The Attorney General asked the former chief, “Whose number on the change sheets does this change belong to?” Gendron stated, “Number 316. Donald Breault modified my hours. I did not work those hours.” Gendron also had a department policy, whereby any comp time
owed was to be used within 30 days and he was to personally acknowledge and authorize those hours to be used. “Payroll is
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March 25-27: Sugarloaf Crafts Festival, Hartford, CT. More than 200 artisans display and sell their unique creations, plus interactive demonstrations, children’s entertainment, live music, and more. Connecticut Expo Center. (800) 210-9900; (301) 990-1400; sugarloafcrafts.com/schedule.html
. April 1-3: Annual Made in NH “Try It & Buy It” Expo, Manchester, NH. Attendees will be able to sample and buy products from both new exhibitors and many returning favorites. Some of the treats offered include a variety of candies, gourmet popcorn, marshmallows, barbecue sauces, and more. But good food isn’t the only thing. Also on display will be fine woodworking, jewelry, and books by local authors, home décor items, accessories, and bath and body products. Admission fee. (603) 626-6354; Radisson Hotel/Center of NH. www. millyardcommunications.com/minh_expo
. April 2-10: New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival, Concord and Nashua, NH. The week-long festival draws on the humor, conflicts, and day-to-day realities of modern Jewish life, often mirroring the dilemmas universal to all cultures. Admission fee. (603) 627-7679; www.jewishnh.org
. April 1-10: Jane Eyre, Epping, NH. This production is rich in mystery and romanticism, abundant with brooding atmosphere, beautifully humorous and wildly romantic. In the burned-out ruins of Thornfield Hall, Jane recalls the disturbing events of her childhood thrust upon unsympathetic relatives, her young adulthood as an orphan, and eventually her becoming a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she encounters its enigmatic master, Edward Rochester. Admission fee. Leddy Center. (603) 679-2781; leddycenter.org
. April 7-9: The Man Who Came to Dinner, Nashua, NH. The play is set in the small town of Mesalia, OH, in the weeks leading to Christmas. The exposition reveals that the famously outlandish radio wit Sheridan Whiteside of New York City was invited to dine at the house of rich factory owner Ernest W. Stanley and his family. However, before Whiteside enters the house, he slips on a patch of ice outside the front door and injures his hip. He is attended by Dr. Bradley, the absent-minded town physician, and Miss Preen, his frantic nurse. While there he completely takes over the home, forcing the family to remain upstairs while he entertains a series of eccentrics and Hollywood types. In the meantime, his devoted secretary has become smitten with a local newspaper man and Whiteside devises a plan to stop the romance before she quits on him. Admission fee. Janice B. Streeter Theater, 14 Court Street. (603) 320-2530; nashuatheatreguild.org
. April 9: Northern Gardening Symposium, “The Life-Long Garden,” Randolph Center, VT. Three gardeners share their lifelong experience to help you plan, plant, and maintain spectacular native plant gardens over time. Admission fee. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vermont Technical College. (508) 877-7630, ext. 3303; www.newenglandwild.org/learn
. April 9: Annual Windsor African Violet Society Show & Sale, Windsor, CT. Peruse underwater arrangements, terrariums, dish gardens, and more. St. Gabriel’s Church. (860) 242-0162; instafax. com/wavs. April 2: Franklin County Quilt Show, St. Albans, VT. More than 200 works will be on display at City Hall, plus viewers’ choice awards, a Mayor’s Award, silent auction, vendors, demonstrations, door prize, and raffle. (802) 326-3135; vtmooses.us/fcqshow.pdf
. April 8: Ladies of the Lake, Waterville, ME. A traditional Celtic performance with Ballard singing and instrumental music: fiddle, flute, tin whistle, bodhran, and more. Waterville Opera House’s Studio Theater. (207) 873-7000, (207) 873-6753; operahouse.org
. April 9-10: Annual Connecticut Cactus & Succulent Society Show and Sale, Waterbury, CT. This event features lectures and demonstration, free plants to the first 50 families each day, a judged
show, auctions, vendors, and more. Naugatuck Valley Community College. (860) 489-8356; (860) 420-7253; ctcactusclub.com
. April 15: In the Mood, the 1940s Big Band, Swing Dance Musical, Lowell, MA. Features a 13-piece big band orchestra and six singers/ swing dancers – including a high-energy Swing Dance Couple – performing the songs of the 1940s. Admission fee. 7:30 p.m. Lowell Memorial Auditorium. (978) 454-2299; www.lowellauditorium.com
. April 16: Earth Day Celebration, Wells, ME. An all-green, family- friendly fair, with live music, nature walks, and a beach cleanup. Wells Reserve at Laudholm. (207) 646-1555; wellsreserve.org
. April 16: Patriots’ Day Revolutionary Muster and Parade, Deerfield, MA. Bring the family to Historic Deerfield for programs, a parade, and a muster featuring re-enactors from Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes and Drums. (413) 775-7214; www.historic-deerfield.org
. April 18: Boston Marathon, Hopkinton to Boston, MA. The 115th running; watch the drama unfold along the famous 26.22-mile course. (617) 236-1652; bostonmarathon. org.
April 29: “Women Making Waves” Quilt Show, Plaistow, NH. There will be over 150 members’ quilts on display along with two “Challenge” efforts, where a quilter is inspired to create an original design that fits into the specific rules of the challenge. In addition, there will be many vendors of fabrics, quilting supplies, and sewing machines, a Penny Raffle, lunch café, a white elephant sale, a silent auction of small wall quilts, demonstration of quilting techniques, and a raffle of an exquisite, Asian-inspired, queen- size quilt made by members of the Merrimack Valley Quilters’ Guild. Admission fee. 4/29 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 4/30 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Timberlane Regional Middle School, 44 Greenough Road. April 30: Hooked Rug Exhibit & Hook In, Fairfield, CT. Displays, plus exhibits, vendors, and color planning advice. Fairfield Grace Methodist Church. (203) 854-5046; (203) 445-8896; fairfieldgrace.org
. April 30: Run of the Charles Canoe & Kayak Race, Dedham to Brighton, MA. Annual benefit for the Charles River Watershed Association, with 1,500 racers and thousands of spectators. Pro, amateur, and recreational races start at the Dedham Medical Associates parking lot in Dedham and finish at Herter Park in Brighton. Don’t miss the food, music, awards, outdoor sports demos, and picnics. (508) 698-6810; charlesriver.org
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complex and about 90 percent of my budget. I did payroll every Friday and I looked at every time-off request. All time-off requests, personal time, comp time, and alternate time was approved by me. A form was required to be filled out. That way, we would have a paper trail. There is no paper authorization for the comp time for Breault.”
Gendron also stated that there was no reason for any person to go
back into the payroll system and change their times, as it was done every week. If an employee were to go back into the payroll system and change their time, it would be very difficult to find. As the trial was now entering into its seventh day, the prosecutors continued to zero in on Breault’s timekeeping concerns involving the Blood Drive, Recruitment Training, Citizen Police Academy, Safety Seat Inspection, School Meetings, Old Home Days, and the Ice Storm, while each witness recalled certain facts about Breault’s presence. Each also stated that it was difficult to remember all the details from nearly two and a half years ago. Defense Attorney Wilson continued to hammer home to the jury that memories could have “fainted” over time.
At press time, Donald Breault had not taken the stand in his own defense, as stated by his defense attorney.
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