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Bail hearing set for former Nashua alderman

Union Leader Correspondent

April 20. 2014 11:10PM

NASHUA — A bail hearing has been scheduled for Kathryn Vitale, the former city alderman who is facing two felony charges of conspiracy to witness tampering.

Vitale, who is currently free on $10,000 personal recognizance bail set earlier by Judge Charles Temple, will be in Hillsborough County Superior Court on Wednesday to address her bail amount.

Under her existing bail conditions, Vitale, 54, of 8 Massasoit Rd., is to remain on good behavior and have no contact with a witness and two co-defendants in the case.

Vitale, who was indicted last month on two counts of conspiracy to witness tampering, is accused of conspiring with Ernesto Rivera, 48, and Rene Lavoie, 52, to persuade Elvira Kersey to recant her statement in an assault case against Rivera. The incident occurred sometime between Nov. 27, 2013 and Feb. 19.

Vitale recently served as a city alderman for Ward 1. Although she lost her re-election bid last November, Vitale held the position until the end of 2013.

Her legal counsel, Attorney Joe Fricano, said earlier this month that he will do everything possible to defend Vitale, adding he looks forward to demonstrating her innocence.

“Miss Vitale has never been arrested before in her entire life, to my knowledge,” Fricano said previously. “She has been a public servant, and she is an active member of the community.”

According to Fricano, Vitale is very concerned about the allegations, and did not anticipate the indictments that were recently handed up by a Hillsborough County Superior Court grand jury.

Since that time, Vitale has taken a leave of absence from her position on the Nashua Zoning Board of Adjustment where she currently sits as an alternate member.

The indictments 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, says 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 in March 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, says court documents.

If convicted, Vitale could face a maximum of seven years in prison for each offense, and a $4,000 fine. Her bail hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday in Nashua.

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