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March 04. 2014 11:20PM

Aldermen refuse to consider request to remove Levasseur

MANCHESTER — The Board of Mayor and Aldermen refused to consider a request from former alderman Phil Greazzo to have Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur removed from office or referred to the Conduct Board.

Greazzo had submitted a request, as a “citizen of the city,” to have Levasseur reviewed by the Conduct Board for a host of alleged violations of the city charter, including “unethical and dishonest conduct.”

Greazzo also pointed to a section of state law, Chapter 49-C:13, that he indicated in a letter to the board gave them the authority to remove Levasseur.

The citation was meant as a rejoinder to City Solicitor Tom Clark, who told the aldermen at their last meeting that they did not have the power to vote to remove an aldermen. The aldermen still voted to censure Levasseur following the release of a state attorney general report that found he made unfounded allegations of misconduct against the city police department.

Rather than debate Greazzo’s proposal, the aldermen on Tuesday voted to receive and file, or not consider, his letter.

The vote marked the second time the board had voted against a motion from Greazzo for an official review of Levasseur’s conduct. Late last year, after Greazzo lost the election for the Ward 10 seat, the board rejected his call to send Levasseur to the Conduct Board.

Following the vote Tuesday, the aldermen again asked Clark, in light of Greazzo’s letter, his opinion regarding the board’s authority to remove an alderman.

“My opinion has not changed. Alderman Greazzo cites a number of reasons why you could take action, the main one being Chapter 49-C ... That is a template for a charter. When our charter commission went to voters, they did not include that in the charter,” he said.

Ward 4 Alderman Jim Roy asked Clark to look into how the city charter could be changed in the future.

“The question is what can we do going forward,” he said. “What if we don’t try to correct this and this comes up in another 10 years?”

Clark said that the charter could only be changed by voters through the charter amendment process, and he said he would, at Roy’s suggestion, consult with the attorney general on the issue.

tsiefer@unionleader.com


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