NEW BOSTON — New Boston Police Chief James Brace recently released a scathing statement on the department’s Facebook page that condemned individuals he believes are using posts on social media pages to “disrupt and destroy” the department
Brace said many of the critical comments have to do with a formal complaint filed with the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office on May 30 by attorney Tony Soltani.
Soltani is asking that the AG investigate Brace and Officer Stephen Case for potential criminal conduct regarding allegations of untruthful testimony delivered by the officers in a 2017 case against one of Soltani’s clients.
“As chief, I had made a decision not to respond or be goaded into school yard fights on social media. I believed our actions would speak for themselves and demonstrate our commitment to this community. However, while standing by, purposeful and continuous attempts to compromise our reputation continue to be made,” Brace said in his post.
According to Soltani, on his Feb. 22, 2017, client’s court date for a Feb. 17 charge of drug possession, Brace and Case called and left voicemails asking for the court date to be delayed.
The delay did not occur, and Case allegedly informed the presiding judge that test results of the drug evidence obtained from the Feb. 17. arrest had yet to return from the state lab because of a backlog.
However, Soltani said that he was able to use lab records and supporting documents to demonstrate that Case did not deliver the evidence to the lab until Feb. 22.
“So, instead of just being honest with the judge and saying ‘we made a mistake, we should have done this sooner and I’m asking for a continuance’ he chose to lie, or he really didn’t remember what happened the day before,” Soltani said. “And if that’s the case, he should not be a police officer.”
Soltani said the case against his client was eventually dropped.
Soltani has also asked the AG to place both Brace and Case on the Exculpatory Evidence List, a private database kept by the AG and all county attorneys that details a list of New Hampshire officers with documented instances of dishonesty at trial.
Brace said he has yet to be contacted by the AG’s office and declined comment on the details of Soltani’s allegations, but did say that the department has put together a response that they sent to the AG on June 15.
“I’m going to let them review all of the information and that information will very clearly speak for itself,” Brace said. “Again, it’s just another attempt to isolate certain information and create a perception in the public that is not accurate. Again, I think it’s directed by some individuals who are intending to destroy the reputation of this agency.”
While Brace said that he provided Soltani with a cover letter that offered a more detailed account of how the evidence was handled, a copy of that letter provided by Soltani reveals that Brace merely promised that he could provide that information in an additional letter.
Solanti says he never received the second letter.
This is not Soltani’s first dealings with the New Boston Police Department. In 2016, he represented former New Boston police officer Alex Drake, who filed a sexual harassment suit against the town. The case ended in a $160,000 settlement for Drake.