Nelson town officials accused of eavesdropping
NELSON — The Cheshire County Attorney’s Office is now looking into allegations of wiretapping and eavesdropping that prompted a state police search of the Nelson town offices in late March.
According to documents filed in the 8th Circuit Court District Division in Keene, the state police investigation was triggered when several residents reported audio and visual equipment were being used in the main entry way and just outside the front doors of the town hall on Nelson Common Road.
The residents include Hinsdale Police Chief Todd Faulkner and members of the Nelson Fire Department, Jason Walters and Winston “Bud” French, as well as Nelson elementary school teacher Maureen Lord.
In the recently unsealed supporting affidavit requesting the search warrant, state police Troop C Sgt. Shawn M. Skahan wrote, that on March 13, “I received an e-mail from T. Faulkner outlining his concerns that the town of Nelson has been illegally recording conversations within the town hall building.”
Residents reported comments they made outside of the town hall somehow got back to Select Board members.
French reported hearing voices of people standing and talking in the front entry way of the town hall coming from the Town Administrative Executive Assistant’s computer speakers.
Skahan wrote, that he went to the town offices on March 20 and confirmed the existence of a camera on the outside of the building angled toward the front door and another one on the inside of the building, just above the front door.
“We also confirmed that there are no signs or notices posted on the outside of the building advising the public that the building was being monitored by audio or video,” he wrote.
Skahan concluded that based upon the evidence, there is probable cause for the crimes of wiretapping and eavesdropping.