Where's the sunshine? More secrets in ManchesterEDITORIAL
March 09. 2013 12:42AM
The Union Leader's story last Friday about a Manchester high school teacher and coach who surrendered his teacher's license after allegations of inappropriate conduct with a minor leaves unanswered questions.
Among them, just what happened here and were the police notified? If so, why no investigation?
These are not idle questions. But, more and more, the public isn't getting answers.
The people of New Hampshire and its towns, cities and state government elect and appoint officials and expect those officials to follow the law.
Yet too many of those officials obfuscate, double-speak, and hide behind "personnel" rules to avoid answers. Without the answers, how are people to judge the worth of their representatives?
In Manchester, the allegations were serious enough for Nicholas Moutsioulis to surrender his license to teach.
He did so under a provision of teacher rules that allows surrender with the knowledge that revocation is likely. But teacher personnel records are also confidential.
The Union Leader found, through the man's divorce records, that his wife had charged, and he denied, "an adulterous relationship with a minor over whom he was in a position of authority."
This is no small thing. But when our reporter asked Superintendent of Schools Thomas Brennan whether he had notified the police, he wouldn't directly answer the question. He would say only that proper procedures were followed. The police, meanwhile, say they have no record of an investigation or prosecution. Which means what? That they were not notified or were but decided not to investigate?
The school board ought to demand a straight answer from Brennan and report it to the public. Was the matter reported to police? Chief David Mara also needs to set the record straight.
We are entering what is known as "Sunshine Week" in honor and appreciation of our open form of self-government.
Manchester and New Hampshire could use a lot more sunshine these days.