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Prosecutor resigns after Sandown DWI arrest
BRENTWOOD — A Rockingham County prosecutor has resigned after being accused of driving drunk in Sandown while on vacation.
William Pate, 56, of Sandown, is charged with driving while intoxicated after his arrest Aug. 31 on Route 121A.
Pate, an assistant county attorney who was hired in October 2004 and prosecuted cases on the Seacoast, immediately resigned from his position and is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 19 in the 10th Circuit Court, Derry District Division.
Sandown administrative Sgt. Aurie Roy said Pate was arrested after he attempted to pass through an area where an officer was directing traffic around an unrelated accident.
The accident happened just after 11 p.m. on Aug. 31 when a man driving a Pontiac GTO lost control and hit a shed at 503 Main St. (Route 121A). A male passenger was critically injured and flown to a Boston hospital.
Roy said the officer directing traffic stopped Pate when he tried to go through, and he was subsequently arrested and charged.
Pate was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail.
Rockingham County Attorney James Reams said Pate contacted him the morning after his arrest and told him what happened. The two met in his office on the morning of Sept. 4 and Pate submitted his resignation, Reams said.
“He followed the standard protocol that I have set up. The purpose of the protocol is to reassure the public that decisions made here are made with the highest integrity and there are no other agendas other than professional prosecution,” Reams said.
The arrest came while Pate was on a two-week vacation, Reams said.
Reams said Pate “had been promoted because of his success here.”
Pate's cases are now being transferred to other prosecutors, and candidates looking to fill his position are being interviewed, Reams said.
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