New London police chief out over alleged indecent proposal
NEW LONDON - Police Chief David Seastrand resigned Thursday as part of a negotiated agreement with the Attorney General's Office after a woman he had arrested claimed he asked her to pose for nude pictures in exchange for dropping the charges.
And though the woman, identified by her lawyer as a Colby-Sawyer student, has thanked authorities for their investigation, she will pursue a civil case against the now-former chief.
"She would have liked to have seen a criminal prosecution," said Richard Lehmann of Douglas, Leonard and Garvey in Concord, refusing to name his client.
On March 6, a complaint was made to the Attorney General's Office regarding Seastrand's alleged interaction with an adult female who had been arrested a few days prior, he said.
The woman alleged that Seastrand said her charges would be dropped if she allowed him to take a series of nude photographs of her. Authorities would not say why the woman was arrested, but said the chief made the request of her a few days after she was arrested and released.
Seastrand, who earlier in the week announced he would be retiring at the end of the month for unspecified reasons, has been a member of the New London Police Department for 27 years. He has been chief since 1995. He could not be reached for comment.
In a news release, Attorney General Michael A. Delaney announced that "pursuant to the terms of a negotiated disposition," Seastrand resigned his position Thursday. In addition, Seastrand permanently relinquished his certification as a police officer, Delaney said.
"Based on this complaint, a criminal investigation was initiated," Delaney said. "Given this resolution, the state's investigation will be concluded and criminal charges will not be brought in regard to Seastrand's conduct on March 6."
Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said the woman was in the town's public safety complex, but not in jail, when Seastrand allegedly made his request. No photos were actually taken, she said.
Numerous factors were considered in deciding not to continue with a criminal prosecution, Young said.
"But basically, we have a complainant and a police chief, and no witnesses to what happened," she said.
Authorities concluded that in this case, having Seastrand agree to relinquish his police career was enough.
"He is out of law enforcement now," Young said.
Lehmann said his client "understands and respects" the state's decision, but she will pursue the case further.
"She is concerned that similar things might have happened to other people with that chief," he said. "We are hoping that any others who had similar experiences will come forward."