DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

February 19, 2008

Former Chester selectman found not guilty of stalking

Eric Parry

DERRY — DERRY | A Derry District Court judge has ruled that former Chester Selectman Leroy Scott is not guilty of stalking a female town employee.

Scott, 77, of 328 Derry Road, had been charged with the class A misdemeanor but after two days of trial, Derry District Court Judge Robert Stephen found that Scott was not guilty of targeting the town's former bookkeeper, Carol Sheehan.

Scott was arrested last May in connection with the two incidents that occurred on June 1, 2006 and Sept. 12, 2006 where he allegedly stalked Sheehan. The charge stated Scott targeted Sheehan, "causing her to be in fear for her own personal safety, by following, approaching, or confronting her," according to court documents.

Almost a third of the town's employees witnessed either incident and were called to testify during the two day trial.

On Tuesday, Scott's oldest son, Kevin, said his father intends to hand over his legal bill of about $3,000 to have the town pay because his father was a selectman at the time of the alleged incidents.

"My father was a town selectman when he was falsely accused, why shouldn't the town pay?" said Kevin Scott.

Leroy Scott did not return a phone call for comment on this story.

If the Board of Selectman agreed to pay Scott's bill, that would mean the town has paid more than $10,000 on Scott's stalking charges.

The town paid about $2,000 in 2005 when he was charged with stalking two town Highway Department workers. The two workers claimed Scott followed them in his truck to make sure they were doing a good job. The charges were dropped before the case appeared in court.

Scott, who was the selectmen's liaison to the Highway Department, claimed he was just fulfilling his duties as an elected official.

After the September incident last year, the town paid $5,600 for a private investigation by the Manchester law firm Devine Millimet to determine whether there was any criminal activity involving Scott and Sheehan.

Similar to Stephen's decision, that investigation found Scott is a "gruff individual with an intimidating manner who can be a bully."

Most of the 11 witnesses interviewed as part of the investigation said Scott treats most people in this manner and has not singled out the woman in his treatment.