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Clinton Office Hostage Taker To Be Released

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Leeland Eisenberg

Leeland Eisenberg

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ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man who served a prison sentence for taking hostages at a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign office in 2007 then was sent back for probation violations is expected to be out in several months.

A judge approved a work-release program Wednesday for Leeland Eisenberg, who was sentenced in 2010 to at least several years after pleading guilty to cutting off his electronic monitoring bracelet and other charges.

A prison board believes the likelihood of rehabilitation for Eisenberg, 51, will be enhanced by the program. Judge John Lewis approved the plan.

Strafford County Attorney Tom Velardi objected, saying Eisenberg had failed to comply with court conditions twice.

“I couldn’t in good conscience say, ‘let’s try it a third time,’ ” Velardi said.

Foster’s Daily Democrat reported Velardi said the halfway house is a good tool for transitioning prisoners from total incarceration to complete freedom, but in Eisenberg’s case, he’s concerned about the safety of the public.

The 2007 confrontation started when Eisenberg walked into Clinton’s Rochester campaign office and claimed he had a bomb. Non one was hurt in the five-hour standoff and the bomb turned out to be road flares.

Eisenberg was released on probation. His first violation occurred soon after his release, when he failed to charge his monitoring bracelet. He was incarcerated after that after failing to take mandatory alcohol breath tests. He was sentenced to at least 3 ½ years in state prison, to be eligible for parole in August 2013.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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