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April 06. 2014 10:27PM

Manchester officer cleared in domestic assault is subject of probe


Attorney Eric Wilson, left, speaks with Manchester police officer William Soucy March 24 in Hooksett District Court. (Ryan O'Connor Photo)

MANCHESTER — The Manchester police officer cleared last month of a domestic assault charge is the subject of a criminal and internal affairs investigation, Manchester police said on Friday.

Meanwhile, Officer William Soucy learned his certification to do police work had been suspended just days before he was found innocent. The suspension means that Soucy is on unpaid administrative leave from the police department, Assistant Police Chief Nick Willard said.

Willard said police started the current investigations after receiving a complaint, but he would not go into details.

However, the lawyer who represents Soucy's former girlfriend, Jodi Nunn, claims Soucy had contacted a mutual acquaintance in the weeks leading up to his March 24 trial. Manchester lawyer Joe Kelly Levasseur said Manchester police have interviewed Nunn, the mutual acquaintance, and Nunn's roommate about Soucy's actions.

Levasseur said the woman, who had only met Soucy once before, was suspicious. Soucy arrived at her Manchester home on foot; he said he had heard she had been hurt at work; he offered to plow her driveway, Levasseur said.
Soucy later returned and asked the woman not to say anything because he would get into trouble, Levasseur said.
"He talked about how much he loves her, how much he misses her; he bought her an engagement ring," Levasseur said.

The contact with the mutual friend took place before Soucy went to trial on a misdemeanor simple assault charge involving Nunn. Standard bail conditions on such a charge prohibit any contact with a victim, as well as attempting contact through another person.

A telephone message left with Soucy was not returned.

The New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council confirmed that the council suspended Soucy's certification to be a police officer. Council rules call for the temporary suspension of a police officer who has been charged with a crime.
The suspension lasts until the outcome of the case and until Soucy meets with the council, whose next regular meeting is scheduled for April 22.
The council suspended Soucy on March 25. At that point, Soucy's trial had taken place and he was awaiting a verdict.

Willard said Manchester police learned about the suspension on March 27. For months, Soucy had been working "modified duty" inside Police Department walls. However, once his certification had been suspended, Soucy was placed on unpaid administrative leave, Willard said.

Late last month, Hooksett District Court Judge Kristen Spath found Soucy innocent of misdemeanor assault, saying reasonable doubt existed as to how Nunn received a cut or scratch during an argument between the two in April 2013.
The allegations against Soucy became part of a political firestorm involving Levasseur and Police Chief David Mara. New Hampshire Attorney General Joe Foster rejected Levasseur's claims that Manchester police intimidated him because of his involvement in the case.
The back-and-forth culminated with Manchester aldermen censuring Levasseur in February.

mhayward@unionleader.com


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