Weare agrees to pay $15k to settle suit against police
Selectman Chairman Thomas Clow on Monday confirmed a settlement was reached in the lawsuit brought against the town, police department and five police officers by George Hodgdon and G & E Restaurant & Pub LLC.
Hodgdon, who is permanently disabled, filed the suit in federal court in 2012 alleging the town and its police force violated his constitutional rights by subjecting him to unlawful arrest, initiating a criminal prosecution without probable cause and use of excessive force. He also alleged he was the target of false imprisonment and claimed the town was negligent in training and supervising its police force.
Hodgdon said he was washing dishes inside when someone yelled "fight." Police arrived and ordered everyone into the bar and kept them locked inside for four hours, according to Hodgdon's lawsuit. Hodgdon said he refused to provide police with a statement.
On July 1, police executed an arrest warrant at the restaurant where Officer Nicholas Nadeau repeatedly asked Hodgdon to make a statement, the suit alleges. Hodgdon said he asserted his right to remain silent even as Nadeau warned Hodgdon he was being video and audio recorded.
Decision to settle
Clow said selectmen turned the suit over to the town's insurance agency, Primex, which decided to settle the matter rather than it bring it to trial. The case was scheduled to go to trial in April.
Neither Hodgdon nor Martin could be reached for comment Monday.
Hodgdon and G&E Restaurant & Pub filed stipulations with the court on Dec. 11 and 12 voluntarily dismissing with prejudice all claims against the town of Weare, its police department and five individually named officers, only two of whom remain on the force.
Two Weare police officers are on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation by the state Attorney General's Office of its handling of an undercover drug operation last August. A Manchester man was fatally shot during that operation.
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