EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

December 10, 2012

McDougall's obstruction trial closes

Salem official charged after run-in with police, firefighters


Officer Scott Naismith described McDougall as “very arrogant” during the confrontation.

“Mr. McDougall started telling me I was being unfair, taking his wife against his will, I think were his exact words,” he testified.

He maintained the officers just wanted to get help for McDougall’s wife.

“We were just trying to get him to calm down,” Naismith said.

The conflict subsided after Naismith told McDougall he could drive his wife to the hospital himself.

But Norcross said that wasn’t the final word from McDougall, who had a parting gesture to police and firefighters.

“He flickered his fingers and told us, ‘You’re all dismissed now,’” Norcross testified.

Though Palmer said McDougall was between the firefighters and the doorway that night, Jane McDougall said he didn’t get in their way and also was concerned about their son, Danny, 7, who also was in the apartment that night.

Reardon repeatedly asked the police officers and firefighters who testified if they knew Patrick McDougall and that he had expressed concerns about public safety spending as a member of the Budget Committee.

Fire Chief Kevin Breen admitted McDougall is an elected official who calls the department and shows up at the fire station probably more than he would like, but disagreed with Reardon’s suggestion McDougall is a “thorn” in his side.

“It’s not a relationship that’s all negative,” Breen said.

He testified McDougall’s family has received an abatement for ambulance service in the past, so he should have been aware costs can be reduced for those in need.

Sullivan at one point warned Patrick McDougall he would be removed from the courtroom after he blurted, “That’s a lie,” during Palmer’s testimony.

McDougall apologized, as he did when clerk Theresa McCafferty complained that his paper shuffling was interfering with the recording of the trial.

Sullivan excused Patrick McDougall was excused from the courtroom for several moments so he could get a drink of water after his coughing became loud. McDougall apologized and blamed it on a cold.

McDougall’s parents, Don and Carol, watched the trial. His mother comforted Jane McDougall when she left the stand.

The charge is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

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