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Manchester Arts Commission chairman arrested for vandalizing City Hall after meeting with mayor

New Hampshire Union Leader

March 07. 2018 12:58PM

MANCHESTER — The chairman of the Manchester Arts Commission was arrested Tuesday on a criminal mischief warrant after police say he caused nearly $400 in damage to a wall at City Hall after a meeting with Mayor Joyce Craig.

According to Manchester Police Lt. Brian O’Keefe, Daniel Berube, 54, of Manchester turned himself in at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at city police headquarters after learning an outstanding criminal mischief warrant had been issued for his arrest stemming from an incident last week at City Hall.

According to police, Berube is accused of causing damage to a wall located outside of the City Clerk’s office around 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 1. Police say Berube caused approximately $350 to $400 worth of damage to the wall after gouging a wall — causing what amounts to an estimated 6-foot long deep scratch — along the right hand wall of the hallway leading from City Hall to the City Hall Annex next door, after a meeting with Mayor Craig.

A police report was generated on March 2, and city detectives prepared an arrest warrant for criminal mischief, notifying Berube on Tuesday after the warrant was signed by a magistrate.

According to O’Keefe, Berube turned himself in and was later released on $500 personal recognizance bail. He is scheduled to appear in the 9th Circuit Court Manchester on April 17.

Berube submitted a letter of resignation from the Manchester Arts Commission (MAC) to city officials on Monday.

“I take this matter very seriously, and am gravely disappointed at the conduct displayed by Mr. Berube,” said Craig. “As soon as I was informed of the situation, I immediately asked for Mr. Berube to step down from the Manchester Arts Commission, which he has been a member of since February 2016. I received his letter of resignation yesterday afternoon and expect the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to accept his resignation at the meeting this evening.”

Lauren Smith, policy and strategic outreach director for Mayor Craig, confirmed the damage was caused by Berube after a meeting with Craig, but said she was not present for the discussion and couldn’t comment on what was said.

A source with knowledge of the conversation between Craig and Berube characterized it as “mundane,” centered on Arts Commission matters. The source said there was no “shouting” or arguing, and staff were surprised to learn of Berube’s actions after the meeting concluded.

Video surveillance footage from City Hall security cameras shows a man who police believe is Berube appearing to finish running an object in his right hand along the right wall of the annex hallway as he comes into view of the camera. Berube has admitted to damaging the wall, city officials said.

According to sources, a “no trespass” order at City Hall has been issued against Berube. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to accept Berube’s resignation Tuesday night, and Berube has reportedly agreed to pay restitution to repair the damage.

In his letter to aldermen, Berube writes he resigns from the commission with “complete regret and a heavy heart.”

“I stand very proud of my involvement with the MAC,” writes Berube. “I will continue to be a positive voice for the Commission as it grows forward ... I will continue to work with our city’s leaders, businesses, organizations and educational institutions to grow a new level of collaborative placemaking and community involvement.”

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