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North Hampton Chief Leaves After Investigation Into Questionable Arrest

Busted for drinking a few beers and watching a ball game in your own house?

It happened to 67-year-old Colleen Loud in North Hampton, N.H. She went from her living room sofa to the Rockingham County lock up at the hands of local police. Her arrest sparked an investigation into the policies of the small community’s police department.

Soon after that investigation, Chief Kathryn Mone suddenly announced her retirement.

Mone, once a rising star in state law enforcement circles, hasn’t given her reasons for leaving the department she took over in 2018, nor for ending her law enforcement career.

“I can’t comment on anything,” Mone said when reached over the weekend.

The circumstances surrounding Loud being taken into custody are difficult to believe. They were confirmed by arrest records and investigation documents obtained by NHJournal. That investigation revealed a culture within Mone’s department that favored police action over careful evaluation, critics say.

“(Mone) would rather get sued for taking action than not,” a police officer told investigators with Municipal Resources Inc. (MRI)


The story began last October 17, when a driver crashed her car into a bush on Loud’s Granite Drive property. The driver had apparently suffered a medical problem while behind the wheel, according to reports. Loud was unaware of the accident.

Police then told her about the accident and asked if she had witnessed it. She hadn’t. While Officer Matthew McCue did not notice anything unusual about Loud, Sgt. Asa Johnson told McCue he smelled alcohol and thought she might have been drinking.

“(McCue) said he did not observe any sign of impairment at that point. He explained that (Loud) seemed steady on her feet and he could not observe any odor (of alcohol) at that time,” MRI’s report states. Johnson, who was the lead officer, wanted to investigate further.

“Does she need to be p.c.’d?” Johnson reportedly asked McCue. (P.C. is short for a protective custody arrest.)

Officers returned to Loud’s home to further question her. They noticed the unclean condition of the home. Loud later told officers she had not cleaned in 10 years, according to the police report.

Asked if she had been drinking, Loud said she stopped off after work and drank a few beers before coming home to watch baseball. She said she might have had some hard lemonade at home. She was reluctant to submit to a Breathalyzer test in her own home. Facing an ultimatum from Johnson, she agreed.

The test registered a blood alcohol percentage (BAC) of .086 percent. While that is above the .08 percent legal limit for driving, New Hampshire doesn’t have a legal limit for alcohol consumption while in your own home watching a baseball game.

Based on the BAC test, however, Johnson took Loud into custody.

After the arrest — and without a warrant —  the officers went through her home taking photos of the mess. Loud was handcuffed, placed into the back of a cruiser, and transported to the Rockingham County House of Corrections.

According to McCue, Johnson said if the test showed she was not capable of driving, they would take her into custody. McCue conceded to MRI investigators that Johnson’s reasoning did not make sense.

Johnson, the lead officer on the case, told investigators Mone initially praised his decision to make an arrest. Days later, however, she told him she disagreed with some of the things he did but said she could not discuss it.

Mone told MRI she did not agree with the officers’ actions.

“Jail would not have been what I wanted, and there could have been and should have been a better resolution than that,” she said. Mone also said the officers were wrong to enter Loud’s home and take photos. She told investigators she had questions about the officers’ judgment. But she didn’t pursue additional training for them after the arrest. 

Asked what the officers should have done instead, Mone told investigators, “I don’t have an answer for that.”

Mone had once been a star in New Hampshire’s law enforcement community. She has a bachelor’s in sociology and political science and a master’s in public administration from UNH. She graduated from the FBI Academy and was named a 40 Under Forty leader by the New Hampshire Union Leader in 2020.

When Mone submitted her retirement letter on March 1 she did not explain it to town officials, said Select Board Chairman James Sununu.

“She didn’t give any specific reasons as to why,” Sununu said.

Sununu said the investigation into Loud’s arrest, received by the town in December, raised serious concerns about police department operations. He and others were working with Mone as a result of the findings.

“There were issues we felt needed to be addressed and we’re working on addressing them,” he said.

Other sources, however, said Mone’s track record was more problematic. For example, Mone became frustrated when her officers failed to arrest a member of North Hampton’s select board, Jonathan Pinette after police were called to his home, according to a source with knowledge of the incident.

The source said police were sent to Pinette’s house for a motor vehicle complaint. While there they overheard a verbal argument between a man and woman inside the residence. There was no indication of domestic violence going on, the source said.

Sgt. Johnson was also on that call. He told MRI’s investigator he spoke to the couple. “(Johnson) said there was no legal ground to take action. However, Chief Mone thought he should have done more,” the MRI report stated.

The source told NHJournal that Mone published the incident in the public police log, categorizing it as a “domestic dispute” even though that was not the case. 

Sununu declined to comment on the incident. He said the select board, as a body, did not have discussions with Mone about it.

As for Loud’s arrest, the MRI report concluded officers had several other options besides arresting her, and Johnson’s decision to arrest her was inappropriate. It attributed part of the problem to a lack of clear instructions from department leadership calling it “vague, at best.”

Johnson is no longer with the department. Mone’s last day in North Hampton is set for March 31. Her resignation is to be discussed at Monday’s select board meeting. 

Sununu wanted to make sure that going forward officers are trained and ready to use sound judgment.

“We want to help our staff do the best job they can,” he said.

Local ‘Guys & Dolls’ School Dance Cancelled Over Lack of Gender Inclusion

Luck won’t be a lady for anyone in Hampton Falls after the Lincoln Akerman School PTO canceled the Guys & Dolls dance, an annual father-daughter event, due to complaints it is not gender-inclusive.

Parents in this small Granite State community received a letter from the PTO explaining the Guys & Dolls dance, along with the companion mother-son Ladies & Lads dance, ran afoul of the current climate of gender politics.

“The Lincoln Akerman School PTO has received some concerns regarding the lack of gender inclusivity surrounding the Guys & Dolls and Ladies & Lads events at our school,” The PTO letter states. “These long-standing events at LAS have traditionally been separated by gender, but with the asterisk that anyone is is welcome.”

Organizers decided keeping the name and inviting everyone regardless of gender was not an option.  Opening the dance to the entire school would not work due to COVID-19 concerns. Instead, the PTO opted to cancel both dances. Kellie Bove, the Lincoln Akerman School PTO communications director did not respond to a request for comment.

SAU 21 Superintendent Meredith Nadeau said Wednesday the dance is not an official school function, and that the district had no say in it being canceled.

“It’s not something that the school district or administration was involved in,” she said.

School Board Chair Greg Parish did not respond to requests for comment. 

Hampton Falls Selectboard Chair Lou Gargiulo called the dance cancellation silly. He said the dance was called off after one parent complained.

“I’m appalled,” he said. “It’s another silly thing that is going to impede kids from going to an event with their parents.”

Parents and families who bought tickets to the event will get refunds, according to the PTO’s letter, and there will be a COVID-safe alternative event. 

It’s not just in Hampton Falls. Until recently, the Hampton, N.H. Parent-Teacher Association hosted a Father-Daughter Dance, “but the name was changed … to be more inclusive, some saying the move helped avoid triggering traumatic emotions for girls without fathers,” reported. It became the Daughter’s Choice Dance, but that was soon found to be too offensive and the event was renamed the Family Dance.

“The Rollinsford Grade School’s father-daughter dance was also changed to be a daughter’s choice dance after community members were concerned the traditional name was not inclusive enough,” they reported in 2018.

While Lincoln Akerman canceled the dance voluntarily, activists in other states have been forcing father-daughter dances and other gender-specific events to shut down. The New York City Department of Education’s Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Student Guidelines outlaws the dances because they exclude some students, the New York Post reports.

“Father-daughter dances inherently leave people out. Not just because of transgender status, just life in general,” said Jared Fox, the department’s LGBT community liaison. “These can be really uncomfortable and triggering events.”

Last year, Virginia’s Department of Education under then-Gov. Ralph Northam (D), recommended ending all sex segregation at school events, inclining proms and other school dances. Among the recommendations, Virginia’s department wanted to end:

“Grouping students for class activities, gender-based homecoming or prom courts, limitations on who can attend as ‘couples’ at school dances, and gender-based events such as father-daughter dances.” 

Glenn Younkin, Virginia’s newly-elected Republican governor, won a surprise victory in part by promising to let parents make decisions in public schools again.

According to the New Hampshire ACLU,Lincoln Akerman and SAU21 are not among the approximately 60 schools and school districts in New Hampshire to have adopted a full policy on transgender student equality.