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April 2, 2014

Consentino fights back in Atkinson against mailings

Atkinson controversy continues post-election

ATKINSON — Newly elected Selectman Phil Consentino said yesterday he has complained to the state Human Rights Commission, the Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Postal Service about the distribution in town and disclosure of details from a human rights case and confidential settlement.

Consentino also said he has hired an attorney who has private investigators looking into the matter.

Consentino, the town’s former longtime police chief, said the information went to people’s homes, town employees and senior citizens he knew when he was the town’s elderly affairs director, both in stamped, anonymously sent mail postmarked in Boston and handouts dropped in their mailboxes and at homes.

It happened before the town election in March and again since his election as selectman.

“I wish they’d leave me the hell alone,” Consentino said.

A complaint Atkinson police dispatcher Lynne Cunningham filed against the town last year with the Human Rights Commission was sealed.

Cunningham and the town reached an out-of-court settlement for $50,000.

Consentino has declined to comment about the Cunningham case.

He was terminated as chief and elderly affairs director last year “for cause.” Officials have not disclosed why and Consentino was questioned by citizens about the dismissal during the selectman’s campaign.

Consentino admitted he was offended by an attachment to a commission document he saw in town that he said read, “predator alert.”

“That’s as close to defamation of character as you can get,” he said.

The information has caused himself and his family aggravation and humiliation, he said. He said there would never be enough punishment for the individuals involved to satisfy him.

Consentino said he knows who distributed the information in town, because their actions were witnessed by others, but he wouldn’t identify them.

“I’m not interested in what it said. My point is, if this letter was sealed by a state agency then how did this information get released?” Consentino asked.

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