ATKINSON — An investigation into Selectman William Baldwin’s residency has concluded, and town officials are prepared to welcome him back to the board as soon as the next scheduled meeting on May 10.
Baldwin, who is facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania, was revealed to his New Hampshire constituency as a full-time public safety director 430 miles away — in Middletown, Pennsylvania — when his arrest was announced by authorities.
According to a statement from the Derry, Pennsylvania, Township Police Department, Baldwin was arrested Wednesday, March 16, just before 10 p.m. after his car went off the side of a highway and into a tree.
Police identified the driver as “William M. Baldwin, 51, of Hummelstown,” and noted in a press release, “Baldwin is the public safety director for Middletown Borough, Dauphin County.”
Baldwin has not responded to multiple requests for comment since his arrest.
The 51-year-old was overwhelmingly supported at the polls in March for a fourth-term in Atkinson town government, a role that requires New Hampshire residency.
Town Clerk Julianna Hale explained publicly at Monday’s selectmen meeting that Granite State residency laws are loose, and that “there is no RSA that speaks to any requirement of time that must be spent in a stated domicile to hold an elected position in any town.”
Hale said she discussed Baldwin’s circumstances with town counsel and the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s legal department in recent weeks.
Atkinson Supervisors of the Checklist, responsible for assuring that only qualified voters participate in the election process, considered the matter on April 6.
The three-member group was unanimous in keeping Baldwin’s name off a 30-day letter list, which is the first step of removal.
“They did make a motion to not include William Baldwin on the 30-day letter list, as his proof of domicile is within the laws of New Hampshire voting procedures and registration,” Hale said. “They also discussed examples of other voters in town who have two addresses; an address in New Hampshire (Atkinson) and somewhere outside of the state.”
She added, “So from our standpoint, this case is considered a closed case.”
Baldwin has not appeared at a selectman meeting since his arrest.
Earlier this month, he emailed Town Administrator John Apple to request a medical leave of absence until the next meeting after April 25, which was approved by his fellow board members.
His meeting attendance while working in Pennsylvania was also spotty. A review of records shows that the board met 30 times between May 2021 and Baldwin’s arrest. He attended seven meetings in person, participated in 17 by phone and was absent for six.
Baldwin was fired from the Pennsylvania policing job soon after his arrest.
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