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Campbell's scandal: Ducking the police???

January 13. 2014 6:19PM

Politically speaking, Nashua Rep. David Campbell might have walked away from a Dec. 23 car accident if only he hadn't walked away. What first appeared to be easily dismissed as an unfortunate mishap now carries the whiff of political scandal.

Late on Dec. 23, Campbell ran over some ducks in the parking lot at Nashua's Crowne Plaza Hotel. Last Friday he pleaded no contest to illegally taking waterfowl, paid a fine and went on his way. But on Sunday the Nashua Telegraph's Jim Haddadin reported that there was considerably more to the story.

After the incident, Campbell walked to his nearby office, where he called his old friend Thomas Pappas — one of Nashua's three police commissioners. Pappas, an attorney, picked up Campbell and drove him away as police were beginning their investigation at the hotel and, Haddadin writes, searching for Campbell.

Pappas called the police that night and told them Campbell was staying at a friend's house and had a dead cell phone. (It was the Christmas Eve morning, why didn't he go home?) The police report states that Pappas identified himself as Campbell's friend and offered to have Campbell call the police in the morning.

Thanks to Pappas, the police department he helps oversee did not have contact with Campbell until 16 hours after the accident, Haddadin reported. Campbell said he consumed a couple of alcoholic beverages at dinner, according to the Telegraph.

Pappas, who identified himself to police that night as a friend of Campbell's, now says he was acting as Campbell's attorney and can't talk about what happened. But he also says he has a policy of not representing clients in matters involving the police. Furthermore, Campbell's current attorney told the Telegraph there was no attorney-client relationship between Campbell and Pappas that night.

Running over the ducks was bad. If Campbell ducked the police with the help of a police commissioner, both men have a lot more explaining to do.

Politics Editorial Nashua

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