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August 11, 2013

Haverhill cops blame West Newbury officers for ex-trooper avoiding arrest

Suspended officers tell their story in legal documents

HAVERHILL — Legal arguments by two Haverhill police officers fighting suspensions for giving special treatment to an ex-state trooper show the officers blame West Newbury police for not charging him with drunken driving.

The Haverhill officers — Lt. William Leeman and patrolman Christopher Pagliuca — were suspended without pay for ten and five days, respectively, for violating police rules and ethical standards, as well as unsatisfactory performance. The state Civil Service Commission recently upheld Mayor James Fiorentini’s decision to suspend the officers, who are in the process of appealing that decision to Superior Court.

Harry Miller, another Haverhill officer at the scene of the crash involving the retired trooper, previously agreed not to fight his 10-day suspension. He accepted a demotion from sergeant to patrolman to save his job.

The officers and their lawyers have declined multiple requests to comment on the case since the incident, which occurred more than a year ago. But they recently made available legal briefs filed by their lawyers that lay out the officers’ versions of what happened at the accident scene and in the investigation that followed.

According to the legal briefs, here’s what the Haverhill officers said happened:

Pagliuca, the first Haverhill officer on the scene of the Mach 2012 crash, said West Newbury and Merrimac police officers were already investigating the accident near the Rocks Village Bridge involving former state trooper Charles Noyes when Pagliuca arrived at the scene. Noyes, who lives in Haverhill, was a lieutenant colonel with the State Police when he retired in 2006.

Police reports show West Newbury Sergeant Daniel Cena was first on the scene, that he spoke to Noyes through the driver’s side window of his vehicle, and that he told other officers that Noyes was intoxicated. Reports said Cena asked Noyes to take a field sobriety test, but that Noyes refused.

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