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Judge Rules Town Managers Can Talk to One Another

January 26, 2002|From Associated Press

GROTON, N.H. — Groton's three town managers can start talking to one another again.

At the town's request, a judge Friday modified her earlier order barring the selectmen from speaking to one another while two of them face criminal charges. Prosecutors had asked for the ban to prevent collusion or witness-tampering.

Judge Jean Burling relaxed the order to allow the three selectmen to hold meetings as long as the proceedings are taped and held in public, and the selectmen never discuss the criminal case.

The ban, imposed Tuesday, had put Groton in a fix. Most day-to-day business in this town of 456 people continued, but all Board of Selectmen meetings were canceled until further notice and some bills went unpaid because checks need the signatures of two selectmen.

Stephen Pilcher and Deb Johnson are accused of illegally trying to get extra money for the town from the federal government after a big snowstorm last winter. They have denied the charges.

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