UPDATED: AG says more women have complained about New London chief
NEW LONDON — More women have come forward with complaints about the conduct of former police chief David Seastrand, according to the state attorney general.
Seastrand resigned Thursday as part of a negotiated agreement with the Attorney General’s Office after an investigation into his actions on March 6, the day that a Colby-Sawyer College student alleges he asked her to pose nude for photos in exchange for having charges dropped.
The student, who has not yet been identified but is under 21, was arrested for underage alcohol possession and giving a false name to police, according to her lawyer. She claims Seastrand called her a few days after her arrest arraignment and made the request.
On Monday, Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said her office has received calls from “several” women regarding Seastrand.
“We are investigating those complaints and we are asking that any others with similar complaints come forward,” Young said.
Seastrand had announced his retirement on April 1, giving no reason. On Thursday, he agreed to resign and permanently relinquish his police officer certification.
“He did not cooperate with the investigation,” Young said.
The former chief was being paid $79,010 per year, according to town officials. Officials at the New Hampshire
Retirement System said Seastrand’s resignation will not affect his retirement benefits, which will pay him about $53,000 per year, according to the system’s formula.
Young said Seastrand has not admitted any guilt in the matter. When asked if the investigation found guilt on Seastrand’s part, Young refused to answer.
“We had the opportunity (with the negotiated disposition) to deal with this immediately,” she said.
“Otherwise we were looking at a trial months from now in which we would have to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and all we had was a complainant’s story versus the chief’s story.”
In addition, state investigators took into account that the complainant was originally arrested for underage drinking, and at the time of her arrest, she gave the police a false name, Young said.
The town’s selectmen issued a statement Friday stating their support for Seastrand.
Meanwhile, the lawyer representing the original complainant said his client will file a civil suit against Seastrand.
Seastrand’s lawyer, Nicholas Brodich of Tarbell and Brodich in Concord, said the former chief will not react publicly to the accusations against him.
“There’s no benefit to us to try this in the news media,” he said. “The lawyer representing the complainant has already indicated that there will be a civil trial, and what we have here is a ‘he said, she said.’ In the process there’s a real chance that this chief’s 27 outstanding years of service to his town will be permanently overshadowed by this.”
Brodich said Seastrand, 50, had been planning to retire for months.
Regarding the threatened civil suit, Brodich said, “money is clearly at play here.”
Anyone wishing to come forward with complaints against Seastrand can contact the Attorney General’s Office at 271-3658.