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NH state rep appeared drunk during duck killing, coverup ensues

UPDATE: New Hampshire police commissioner Thomas Pappas resigned on February 5 due to his involvement in helping state rep David Campbell after Campbell killed the ducks outside the Crowne Plaza Hotel. In a letter to the governor, he stated he "deeply regrets his part in the events."

Police recordings have been released regarding the night New Hampshire state representative David Campbell ran over and killed about half a dozen ducks outside the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nashua. A hotel employee had called 911 requesting help after he witnessed what he referred to as a “drunk” individual running over and killing 4 or 5 ducks.

What began as a case of animal cruelty, swept under the rug with an apology and fine, has evolved into half-truths and shady practices by Campbell and the Nashua police commissioner Thomas Pappas. On the night in question, Campbell left the scene after hitting the ducks and called Pappas, his attorney and friend, “to escort him away from the area,” according to police reports. Campbell claimed he was being threatened by an individual who was feeding the ducks at the time of the accident.

Police reports state that Campbell was dining with friends at the hotel and had consumed alcoholic drinks. Campbell claimed to have had only two drinks and the bartender where they dined corroborated this. His receipt, however, showed four drinks, which included vodka and tequila.

Pappas picked Campbell up at his office across the street and brought him to another friend's house. According to police reports, Pappas called the police station two hours later once he learned they were looking for Campbell. Pappas claimed he asked whether or not they wanted to see Campbell that night or in the morning, and the station told him the next day was fine. However, according to the audio recordings, Pappas is the one who asked if they could speak with Campbell the next day.

Campbell was conveniently located where he could not be reached, with a supposed dead cell phone. It is unclear where Campbell spent the night, though, since Pappas claimed to have taken him to a friend's house but Campbell told police he went home.

Police reports also state that Pappas refused to answer any questions, stating attorney-client privilege, but has since stepped down as Campbell's lawyer due to a conflict of interest. Eric Wilson is now representing Campbell.

Due to all the discrepancies and inconsistencies in both Campbell and Pappas' stories, as well as improper action during the night in question, Governor Maggie Hassan has appointed Attorney General Joseph Foster to determine whether further investigation is needed. It is unclear as to whether the attorney general's office will get involved.

Campbell was fined $695 for killing waterfowl out of season, an off-season hunting charge. He also donated that amount to the New Hampshire Audubon Society and issued a public apology. Campbell stated he meant to hit the breaks when he accidentally hit the accelerator, driving into the group of ducks. He was also driving the wrong way in the hotel parking lot.

Nashua Telegraph
Nashua Telegraph2
Nashua Telegraph3
Nashua Telegraph4
New Hampshire Union Leader

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