Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

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Should Selectman Russ Harding Resign?

Yes
10
53%
No
8
42%
Undecided
1
5%
 
Total votes : 19

Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby shawn_oneil » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:19 pm

http://www.unionleader.com/article/2012 ... 09898/1006

Danville selectman charged in assault on teen


Danville Selectman Russell Harding
DANVILLE - A selectman is facing assault charges after he was accused of grabbing a teenager by the neck and pushing his head into a table.
By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
DANVILLE — A selectman who admitted that he pushed a teenager at a community movie night because he thought the boy was tampering with equipment is now facing assault charges.

Russell Harding, 35, turned himself in to state police Sept. 6 on two counts of simple assault.

Harding, of 23 Coburn Hill Road, is accused of grabbing the teenager by the back of his neck and forcing his head into a table, according to the complaints.

Harding was charged after an investigation by state police launched after the mother of the boy called Danville police on Aug. 19 to complain about the alleged assault, police chief Wade Parsons said.

State Police Sgt. Sara Hennessey said the agency was asked by Parsons to conduct the investigation to avoid a conflict.

During a selectmen's meeting Sept. 4, Harding admitted that he “made a mistake” on the night of the incident, but he has refused to resign from the board.

The charges stem from an altercation with the teenager at the town movie night held at Day Field Aug. 18.

Harding went ahead with setting up the movie night even after the police chief had postponed it earlier in the day due to the threat of rain.

Selectmen told Harding they weren't happy that he held the movie night just the same, but they said they were more concerned about the incident with the teenager as Harding was taking down the movie equipment that night.

Harding said the incident occurred after he went into nearby Mayo's Market to tell workers that the movie was being closed down. He said he was returning to the field when he noticed a person standing by the equipment.

Harding said he approached and stood between the equipment and the other person, who turned out to be a young teenager. Harding said he was worried that the equipment would be damaged or stolen.

Harding told selectmen that he “touched” the teenager. In an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader, he said only that he pushed the boy away from the equipment. He also said other teenagers on bicycles began making comments and that police officer Michelle Cooper was called in to address the issue with the teens.

Cooper, a part-time police officer who was on duty that night, is also a selectman and joined other selectmen in calling for Harding's resignation.

“All I know is I made a mistake that night. For that, I'm sorry,” Harding told selectmen last week.

Harding was released on $5,000 personal recognizance bail and will be arraigned in the 10th Circuit Court, Plaistow District Division, Sept. 24.
Shawn O'Neil


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Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby SBinRockrimmon » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:44 pm

I can't think of a single thing that would have warranted such a reaction. I will also say that grabbing a teen by the neck and pushing his head into a table is a far cry from a "touch". If this accusation is true Russ needs to get a handle on his temper. If I was this kids father Russ and I would have a huge problem.
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Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby curt » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:42 am

September 11, 2012
Danville selectman charged with assaulting boy
Selectman accused in Movie Night incident

By Doug Irelanddireland@eagletribune.com The Eagle-Tribune

DANVILLE — Selectman Russell Harding has been arrested on charges he assaulted a teenage boy during a confrontation at the town’s Movie Night.

New Hampshire State Police Sgt. Sara Hennessey said yesterday Harding faces two simple assault charges in connection with the incident Aug. 18 at Day Field.

Harding turned himself in at the state police barracks in Epping after an arrest warrant was issued Thursday, she said. He was released on $5,000 personal recognizance and is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 24 in Circuit Court in Plaistow.

Harding declined to comment yesterday. He said last week he pushed the teenager, but nothing more.

Police would not confirm reports Harding also allegedly grabbed the boy by the neck and pushed his head against a table. All records in the case are sealed, according to a court clerk.

Harding said he didn’t know if he would attend the board’s next meeting Sept. 17. He was asked by fellow selectmen to resign at their last meeting Sept. 4, but refused.

The second-year selectman admitted he made a mistake when he defied police Chief Wade Parsons’ decision to cancel Movie Night because of a threat of rain that day.

Harding, convinced it would not rain, got the key to the storage area and brought the projector, inflatable screen and other equipment to Day Field. Residents were notified hours earlier the movie was canceled.

Harding, who helped organize Movie Night along with the Recreation Committee and Police Department, said he was afraid the event wouldn’t be rescheduled if it were canceled.

It didn’t rain and only one family showed up. But as Harding was getting ready to put the screen, projector and other items, he saw the teenage boy near the equipment.

Harding said he yelled at the teen and asked what he was doing. Another volunteer called Danville police.

Harding, 35, said he stepped between the teen and the several thousand dollars worth of equipment, afraid it would be damaged.

“In doing so, I guess I came in contact with him,” Harding said last week.

The officer who responded was Selectman Michelle Cooper, one of four board members who would later ask Harding to resign.

Parsons said he couldn’t comment on the case because is it being investigated by state police.

“As soon as I learned about it, I contacted state police to investigate because there was going to be a conflict,” he said.

Selectmen;s Chairman Shawn O’Neil said yesterday he had not heard of Harding’s arrest, but knew he was under investigation after the confrontation was reported to police.

He said Harding was not forthcoming when questioned at the selectmen’s meeting and should have resigned as requested.

“It is going to be sad for him to drag the town through this,” O’Neil said. “It’s selfish on his part.”

He said the board would have to consider its options if Harding still refuses to step down. Under state law, a public official can only be removed from office if convicted of a felony, according to New Hampshire Local Government Center spokeswoman Laura Simoes.

O’Neil and other selectman, including Vice Chairman Chris Giordano, said Harding overstepped his bounds when he ignored Parsons.

But assaulting a child is unacceptable, Giordano said.

“We certainly wouldn’t have asked for him to resign just because of Movie Night,” he said. “It’s unfortunate. He really was an asset to the board.”
Curt Springer
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Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby SBinRockrimmon » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:27 am

But assaulting a child is unacceptable, Giordano said.


Assaulting ANYONE is unacceptable.
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To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. - Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby curt » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:29 am

The selectmen agenda for 9/17/12 wrote:7:15 - 7:30
Censure of Selectman Harding for conduct unbecoming of a selectmen
Curt Springer
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Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby shawn_oneil » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:09 am

http://www.unionleader.com/article/2012 ... /709149895

Danville selectmen to publicly censure Harding

By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
DANVILLE — Selectmen plan to publicly censure Selectman Russell Harding and ask him again to resign at a board meeting Monday after he was accused of grabbing a 13-year-old boy by the back of his neck and forcing his head into a table during a community movie night.

Harding, 35, was charged by state police last week with two counts of simple assault after an investigation into the altercation that occurred at the movie night at Day Field on Aug. 18.

The agenda for Monday's selectmen's meeting states that selectmen will censure Harding for “conduct unbecoming of a selectman” at 7:15 p.m.

Chairman Shawn O'Neil said the board will also call for Harding's resignation.

Selectmen recently asked him to resign, but he has refused. Instead, Harding apologized for the incident at a board meeting last week, saying he made a mistake.

During the meeting, Harding admitted to “touching” the boy. In an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader, he said he “pushed” him.

Harding has not admitted to the allegations made in the complaints filed by state police.

Harding claims he approached the teenager because he thought he was tampering with the town's movie equipment. He has said that he moved in between the boy and the equipment and pushed him away.

O'Neil said the teenager and others were simply making “hand puppets” on the projector screen.

Selectmen have not only expressed concern about the altercation but also criticized Harding for holding the movie night even after Police Chief Wade Parsons had postponed the event earlier in the day due to the threat of rain.

While selectmen do not have the authority to force Harding off the elected board, O'Neil said he hopes he'll step down.

“It's in the best interest of the town that he resigns. I think he's lost the faith and confidence of the board in his judgment and in his ability to carry out his elected duties as a town official,” he said.

Harding declined to comment on the case or the calls for his resignation Thursday night.

“I can't talk about anything now,” he said.
Shawn O'Neil


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Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby ebakenoza » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:26 am

what would the real reason for the censure of selectman Harding be,since he has not been conviccted in a court of law yet,of the charges pending?' Conduct unbecoming 'covers a lot of areas.
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Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby SBinRockrimmon » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:27 am

ebakenoza wrote:what would the real reason for the censure of selectman Harding be,since he has not been conviccted in a court of law yet,of the charges pending?' Conduct unbecoming 'covers a lot of areas.


It doesn't sound as if Russ has denied that something happened. Granted he has not been convicted, but there is no doubt that something happened. My concern is the liability. I have no desire for our tax dollars go towards a lawsuit or settlement. For me, that is the sole reason he should step down, that is if Russ truly believes in doing what is best for the town. Then again if he believed in doing what's best for the town this incident would have never happened.

I can tell you that if I were this kids parents I'd be at every board meeting that Russ attends.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. - Thomas Jefferson

Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. - Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby SBinRockrimmon » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:01 pm

I just got home and watched the beginning of tonight's meeting from DVR. I'm a bit disappointed in myself that I didn't make it to tonight's meeting. No input from the public and Russ is remaining to stubborn to do the right thing and step down. I used to have some respect for the man. That is all lost now. It's too bad he doesn't get it.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. - Thomas Jefferson

Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. - Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby SBinRockrimmon » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:10 pm

Top story on WMUR tonight. Still reporting live from the empty town hall. It really is a shame that Russ is continuing to bring it this far. Rather than step down quietly a few weeks ago he is just dragging the town through the mud. Russ if you really care in the least little bit about this town you will step down. Your refusal to do so will wipe away any good you may have done here. This is something I would find more likely to happen in our bordering southern state. It's really disappointing. You are doing no good remaining on the BOS and this issue has become an embarrassment to the town.

This is the first time I've seen the child's age as 13. I will state again Russ needs to step down. How tough do you need to be to grab a kid that is barely even a teenager?

http://www.unionleader.com/article/2012 ... /120919662

DANVILLE — Selectman Russell Harding refused to resign from the board Monday night amid charges he grabbed a 13-year-old boy by the back of his neck and forced his head into a table at a community movie night.

For the second time in recent weeks, selectmen asked the 35-year-old Harding to quit over the incident that led to simple assault charges following a state police investigation.

Harding said “no” when selectmen asked him to resign during their weekly board meeting.

“With that there isn't much more this board can do at this time,” Chairman Shawn O'Neil said.

His refusal to leave the board followed selectmen's decision to publicly censure Harding at the meeting for “conduct unbecoming” a selectman.

Harding came under fire after the community movie night held Aug. 18. Harding decided to hold the movie night even after Police Chief Wade Parsons had postponed it earlier in the day because he feared it would rain and the town's movie equipment would get wet.

The altercation occurred when Harding confronted the teenager because he thought he was tampering with the equipment.

O'Neil read from a prepared statement in which he reminded the public of statements made by Harding at a board meeting on Sept. 4. At that meeting, Harding told selectmen that he put himself in between the teenager and the town's movie equipment and that when he did so he “touched” the boy.

However, O'Neil referred to comments Harding made to the New Hampshire Union Leader in an interview after the meeting in which he admitted that he pushed the teenager to get him away from the equipment.

According to the charges filed by state police, Harding allegedly grabbed the back of the boy's neck and forced his head into a table. In the New Hampshire Union Leader interview, Harding never admitted to those allegations and was not yet facing charges.

“The board is deeply concerned by the nature of these statements and strongly express the disapproval of any of its members touching or pushing any member of the community no matter what the circumstances,” O'Neil said, adding that the board “believes strongly we must have an obligation to act appropriately at all times.”

Harding chose not to respond when given a chance to comment on the censure during the meeting.

Because he is an elected official, selectmen do not have the legal authority to remove Harding from the board.
Last edited by SBinRockrimmon on Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. - Thomas Jefferson

Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. - Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby SBinRockrimmon » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:36 pm

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. - Thomas Jefferson

Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. - Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby shawn_oneil » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:24 am

I have lost all respect that I once had for Mr. Harding. It deplores me that he will drag the Town through these issues. Not one person in the public audience voiced support for Mr. Harding's.

Curt, since you are the creator of this thread could you please setup a poll asking our fellow SoD viewers if Mr. Harding should resign?

I want to apologize to our townspeople that they need to read about our Town in such a negative light and the start of our path down this dark era.

Shawn
Shawn O'Neil


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Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby curt » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:28 am

Poll created.
Curt Springer
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Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby shawn_oneil » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:24 pm

curt wrote:Poll created.

Curt,
Thank you.
Shawn
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The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money” –Margaret Thatcher
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Re: Russ Harding asked to resign from BOS

Postby SBinRockrimmon » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:17 pm

While I like the idea of a poll it's too bad that the folks voting won't comment as to why they are voting one way or another.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. - Thomas Jefferson

Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. - Benjamin Franklin
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