Reporting Michael Rosenfield
NEW LONDON, N.H. (CBS) – David Seastrand is no longer the New London, N.H., police chief after allegedly offering a college coed a strange deal.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Carl Stevens reports
“The proposal was simply this — he would drop the relatively minor charges that had been lodged against her if she agreed to allow herself to be photographed naked,” said the woman’s attorney, Rick Lehmann.
Lehmann said the woman declined the offer and told her parents. The student has not yet been identified but she is not a minor.
According to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office, the incident began when the chief arrested the Colby- Sawyer student for underage drinking as she left a party. Three days later, he called her and she went down to the police station, where the alleged offer was made.
“We corroborated a lot of what the claimant said,” said Jane Young, senior assistant attorney general. “When we looked at all the circumstances, the fact that we were able to remove him from office immediately and permanently was a just and reasonable resolution based on all the facts.”
State investigators said the chief has not admitted to anything, but he did agree to resign and surrender his certification as a police officer in exchange for no criminal charges.
The case is the talk of the campus, where one student said her experience with the local police department was also uncomfortable.
“They basically just made a lot of sexual remarks,” college sophomore Rainah Goguen said.
But some longtime residents are standing by the chief.
“My money is on Chief Seastrand and we are all heartbroken,” Sara Smith said. “I’m sick to my stomach over this because he’s a decent person. I have never seen Chief Seastrand treat anybody but respectfully.”
In his resignation letter, the chief cited “recent developments concerning my ability to work during this very difficult time.”
Seastrand did not return a call Friday seeking comment and nobody came to the door at his home.
The college student still faces charges of underage drinking as well as giving police a false name.
The Attorney General’s office said the deal spares a lengthy court case and the risks of a trial.
“It’s disappointing. It’s surprising,” Town Administrator Kimberly Hallquist said.
The town is launching a search for Seastrand’s successor, she said.
“We currently have an acting police chief,” Hallquist said. “So we’ll look for a new chief.”
Lehmann said his client would have liked to see a criminal case against Seastrand, but she is satisfied with the deal reached between the former chief and the Attorney General’s office.
Lehmann said a civil case against Seastrand is a possibility.