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Home » News » Crime

March 27. 2014 7:20PM

Ex-alderman accused of witness tampering

NASHUA — A former Nashua alderman who lost her re-election bid last November is now facing two felony charges of witness tampering, according to court documents.

A Hillsborough County Superior Court grand jury has handed up two charges of conspiracy to witness tampering against Kathryn D. Vitale, 54, of 8 Massasoit Road.

Vitale, who sits on the city Zoning Board as an alternate member, is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges April 4. Vitale did not return phone calls and emails from the New Hampshire Union Leader seeking comment.

Police allege that Vitale, sometime between Nov. 27, 2013, and Feb. 19, conspired with Ernesto Rivera, 48, and Rene Lavoie, 52, to persuade Elvira Kersey to recant her statement in an assault case against Rivera.

The indictments, which were handed up this month, also state that Vitale allegedly contacted Lavoie, of 21 Hospital Ave., Apt. 1, Manchester, to make arrangements to bring Lavoie to Kersey’s residence so that Lavoie could tell Kersey to recant her statement, and later drove Lavoie to her residence.

Kersey is a key witness in a case against Rivera, who is currently incarcerated in connection with various weapons, assault and drug charges, according to court documents.

Rivera is accused of assaulting two women, including Kersey, during a dispute last August at a Nashua restaurant that resulted in six domestic violence assault charges.

Rivera is now facing additional charges after being indicted this month on five counts of witness tampering and two counts of criminal liability to witness tampering in connection with Vitale’s case.

Lavoie has also been indicted on two counts of conspiracy to witness tampering for the same incident, according to court documents.

Vitale, who previously served as a Ward 1 alderman, was ousted last fall by newcomer Sean McGuinness. She served in her role as alderman until the end of 2013.

If convicted, she could face up to seven years in prison for each offense, and a $4,000 fine. According to court records, Vitale had not yet retained an attorney as of early Thursday afternoon.

A trial has been tentatively scheduled for December. khoughton@newstote.com


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