Peterborough ’s now former Deputy Town Clerk, Gayle Bohl, is getting at $25,000 pay-out after she settled the lawsuit alleging she was punished for reporting the hostile work environment created by elected Town Clerk Linda Guyette.

Bohl’s lawsuit was settled late last month, according to court records. Representatives for Primex, the town's insurance carrier, said the settlement was finalized last week for the amount of $25,000.

The problems in the Town Clerk’s office threatened to derail the town’s 2020 election operation as Bohl was handling absentee ballots in the town hall basement because she could not be in the same room as Guyette. Deputy Secretary of State Dave Scanlan eventually got involved and admonished town officials for taking away Guyette’s legal duties.

Scanlan told then Town Manager Rodney Bartlett that Guyette has the legal obligation to handle the absentee ballots, and Bohl’s position in the basement was an “usurpation” of Guyette’s duties.

Bohl’s lawsuit claims that having her lift the heavy boxes up and down stairs with her asthma was a retaliatory move by the town and punishment for speaking out.

Bohl resigned her position last September, after months of problems with Guyette that culminated in an outside party investigation that found Guyette had created a hostile work environment, and that she may have exposed people in the town house to COVID-19.

Guyette easily secured reelection to her post as Town Clerk in May. Brendan Bohl, Gayle Bohl’s husband, ran unsuccessfully against Guyette.

Bohl said Guyette was locked out of her office by town officials after she first tested positive for COVID-19 over the summer of 2020. The lock out came after she reportedly entered the building while being positive for COVID-19.

“She was not allowed into the Town House or the Town Clerk's Office after her first positive test because (Town Administrator) Rodney (Bartlett) had a padlock installed on each of the Town Clerk Office doors and told her she would be arrested if she came in the building,” Bohl said in a statement after her lawsuit was first filed.

Bohl filed the whistleblower’s lawsuit against the town claiming that after she reported Guyette’s refusal to follow COVID-19 safety protocols Guyette created a hostile work environment. Bohl resigned claiming that her interactions with Guyette made her sick and led her to take anti-anxiety medication.

Throughout the summer of 2020, Bohl tried to get Bartlett to do something about Guyette.

“I’m not sure what else I can do. She makes it impossible for me to keep myself safe. And she gets away with it every single day,” Bohl wrote in an email to Bartlett, which is part of the lawsuit.

Guyette for her part denied she knowingly exposed people to COVID-19, but instead said she reported the dates of her tests incorrectly to the third-party investigator.

The lawsuit uses Bohl’s emails and a report from the outside firm, The Leddy Group, to claim that Guyette refused to move her desk away to a safe distance, and refused to put in a safety shield. Guyette also allegedly forced Bohl use contaminated equipment, according to the lawsuit.

“Yesterday I picked up the phone to answer it and the receiver was literally wet and sticky in my hand. While she was on a conference call this morning, she took the phone in to the bathroom with her, I literally watched her bring it in there from the selectman’s room and could hear the conversation because she had it on speaker phone. Then she wanted me to use her phone, that she just took in to the bathroom with her, to take the voicemail messages off of it,” Both wrote to Bartlett, according to the lawsuit.

Bartlett’s response to Guyette’s treatment was to put Bohl, who suffered from asthma, in the town hall basement to work on “special projects,” like the absentee ballots.

Guyette’s parents tested positive for COVID-19 on June 7, according to court records, and according to the lawsuit, Guyette had also tested positive on June 9 and she reportedly exposed several people at a town hall meeting who were unaware of her status, according to the lawsuit. Guyette was forced to go home and quarantine, but Bohl said she was seen around town during her quarantine, not wearing a face mask, according to the lawsuit.

Bohl said in her statement that Guyette told her on June 21 that she had tested positive again for the virus and had to stay away until she tested negative. Guyette had a meeting with Bartlett and Bohl on June 30 about taking safety steps to protect Bohl, according to the lawsuit.

Guyette issued a statement disputing that she knew about her COVID-19 status until June 10. Guyette, however, has given different dates for her positive test.

The town engaged with human resource firm The Leddy Group to investigate Bohl’s complaints, and Leddy investigator Sandra Conely found Guyette had created a hostile work environment. In Conley’s report is the statement that Guyette tested positive on June 7. Later, in August after the Leddy investigation, Guyette gave the date in another Facebook post as June 10. Guyette also complained about being required to wear a face mask at work.

Guyette reportedly swore at and screamed at Bohl during her tenure working in the office, and at times this summer, other town employees were concerned, according to the Leddy report expected in the lawsuit.

“On July 15, the yelling and use of extreme profanity towards the complainant were so loud that concerned employees went to the Town Administrator for assistance. Upon arrival, Ms. Guyette yelled and used extreme profanity towards him,” the Leddy report states.

At one point during the angry 2020 summer, Guyette’s outbursts were reported to police as a potential violent threat against Bartlett, though Police Chief Scott Guinard told NH Reporter the matter did not require a criminal investigation.

The Leddy report also states that Guyette was unprofessional to residents who went to her office for services.

“Ms. Guyette is alleged at times to hold residents’ car registration, dog license, or other paperwork and insist that they pick it up in person instead of mailing if there was not a stamped self-addressed envelope provided,” The report states. “Ms. Guyette’s speakerphone was on, and the complainant alleges to have heard a resident “begging” Ms. Guyette to mail her dog licenses because she was afraid to come to the Town office to pick them up. She was afraid to go to the Town Hall due to COVID-1. Ms. Guyette was alleged to have not accommodated this individual."

As an elected official, Guyette is not answerable to selectmen or town administration. She claimed the Leddy report was released in an attempt to force her to resign. The town paid the Leddy Group $3,500 for the report. Guyette is paid more than $69,000 a year for her position.

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  • damientfisher

Keene’s Jason Riddle pleaded guilty Thursday for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection riots at the United State Capitol Building.

Riddle, 33, was caught largely because he publicized his actions during the riots. He shared photos and videos to his social media accounts of himself in the building, drinking a stolen bottle of wine, and of the Senate Procedure manual he stole and sold on Ebay, according to court documents. Riddle gave interviews to media outlets in the days after the riots, as well, depicting his wandering through the building.

As Riddle strolled through the building, rioters were breaking in and people in military garb were reportedly looking to kill members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence, according to court documents.

He pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property, and one count of illegal parading in a government building. United States District Court Judge Dabney Fredrich said Riddle could be sentenced to up to one and a half years in prison under the terms of the plea agreement.

Riddle will be sentenced on Feb. 17 in the United States District Court in Washington D.C.

Riddle, has run unsuccessfully for county office in Keene as a Republican and gave an interview earlier this year in which he indicated plans to run against U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-Hopkinton. When asked about the criminal charges, he said his participation in the events will help his campaign.

“In the long run if you’re running for office any attention is good attention,” he told an NBC interviewer.

In the same interview, Riddle appeared unaware that Kuster is a United States representative. He indicated that he thought she was a state representative who worked at the State House in Concord.

Riddle appears to enjoy the publicity. FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson cites Riddle’s first interview with an NBC outlet in which Riddle admitted to going into the Capitol building along with the rioters.

“I just, I just had to see it,” Riddle said in the interview.

“When asked (by the NBC reporter) if Riddle regretted it, Riddle responded, ‘No,’” Helson writes in his affidavit.

Riddle is also quoted by NBC as saying he “poured a glass of wine and watched it all unfold,” while in the building and watching the violence.

“They were smashing computers, and printers, and breaking things, and throwing papers and lamps around,” Riddle said in the NBC interview, according to Helson’s affidavit.

Riddle supplied reporters with video and photos he took of the action inside the building, including numerous videos and photos of himself. Many of the photos of Riddle are included in Helson’s affidavit.

Helson writes that FBI agents interviewed Riddle in Keene on Jan. 22 when executing a search warrant to obtain digital photos and video. During that interview, Riddle allegedly admitted to going in as part of a “break in” led by a “big dude.” Riddle also admitted to taking the Senate book and drinking the wine, according to Helson.

“Riddle also admitted that he stole a small Fox News football from the same office, but tossed it aside as he exited the Capitol building,” Nelson wrote.

Riddle told the agents that before they arrived he had tried to delete photos from his phone.

“Riddle also admitted that at some point after the Capitol incident, he had deleted some messages, photos, and videos of his D.C. trip from his phone, during what he termed a ‘delete frenzy,’” Helson wrote.

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  • damientfisher

Christopher Cantwell, Keene’s Crying Nazi, wants his conviction for threatening to rape the wife of another white supremacist overturned, saying his ex-fiancee Katelyn “Peach” Fry’s words were wrongly used against him at trial.

Cantwell’s attorney, Christine DeMaso, recently filed an appeal brief in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston after weeks of delays. Cantwell is currently on trial in Virginia due to a civil lawsuit against him and two dozen others involved in the white supremacists “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, according for some of the delay.

Fry did not testify at Cantwell’s New Hampshire trial last year, but a recording of a conversation between her and Cantwell was used in the closing arguments by prosecutors. Cantwell supplied investigators with the recording in which Fry seems to be shocked by her then-lover’s actions against Ben Lambert, also known as Cheddar Mane.

According to the recording, Cantwell told Fry he either had to go to police, of kill Lambert himself:

“CANTWELL: The only choices that I have are to go to law enforcement or to go to hunt this fucking assholes down and commit a crime myself. Those are the two choices that I have.

FRY: How can you say that?

CANTWELL: No, because, well because those are my two choices. I can say that and I can say that to the fucking FBI. That’s why I go to the FBI, right? That’s why I go to the government so that I don’t have to commit a crime. You know, it’s not a matter of I think they are on my side or not, it’s these guys broke the law and the only remedy I have is law enforcement.

FRY: Okay, but you threatened Cheddar Mane and said you are going to come and rape his wife.

CANTWELL: I didn’t say I was going to go rape his wife, okay? I fucking left that out there, okay?”

Cantwell, 40, is the white supremacists who came to fame when he was caught on video crying at the Unite the Right rally when he learned about a pending arrest warrant. Cantwell first came to Keene to be part of the Free Keene libertarian movement, but was disavowed by the group when his rhetoric turned racist and violent. Cantwell hosted an internet radio show before his arrest by federal agents. He was convicted this year of making interstate threats for threatening to rape the wife of Lambert, then a member of the hate-group known as the Bowl Patrol.

Cantwell was also convicted in a separate trial on assault charges stemming from his actions at the Unite the Right rally.

Cantwell’s defense at trial in the United States District Court in Concord included the theory that his threat to rape Lambert’s wife wasn’t serious, and not a crime. Fry’s statement in the recording was therefore improperly used, according to DeMaso.

“In closing, the government treated Ms. Fry’s statements as if they had been introduced for their truth. It argued that the language Mr. Cantwell used was a threat, not normal sparring within the white nationalist community,” DeMaso wrote.

Aside from the recording of Fry, prosecutors had white supremacist Republican Paul Nehlen and Lambert both testify that Cantwell’s threats were over the line. Cantwell’s defense relied on the fact that he and Lambert and others in the white supremacists community often spoke in this manner.

DeMaso also argued Cantwell was prohibited from using the defense that he was pushed into making the threat because Lambert first threatened Fry. Fry went to Lambert’s home state of Missouri at Cantwell’s behest and took photos of Lambert and his family. When Lambert found out, he made a statement in a messaging app chat with Cantwell that seemed to threaten Fry, according to DeMaso.

“Immediately before Mr. Cantwell made the statement about Mr. Lambert’s wife and children (which carried a significantly higher possible sentence), Mr. Lambert threatened Mr. Cantwell’s ex-girlfriend,” DeMaso wrote. “During the charged chat, Mr. Lambert said ‘Guess that means you [don’t] care what happens to [Ms. Fry] either.’ Mr. Cantwell said his statement about Mr. Lambert’s wife and children was an angry retort to this threat.”

Cantwell’s threat came as he was trying to get Lambert to disclose the identity of another Bowl Patrol member, whose cyber identity was Vic Mackey.

“So if you don’t want me to come and fuck your wife in front of your kids, then you should make yourself scarce[.] Give me Vic, it’s your only out.” Cantwell wrote. “You’re the one who is going to suffer cause you’re the one I can get.”

Vic Mackey has subsequently been outed as Sacramento, California resident Andrew Casarez, 28. According to J Weekly, the Jewish News of Northern California, Casarez lives in the suburb of Orangevale with his parents and grandmother.

Cantwell’s relationship with members of the Bowl Patrol was initially friendly until Cantwell started a new website that attempted to be more mainstream conservative and less white supremacist. Members of the Bowl Patrol considered Cantwell a “sell out,” for this, according to court records.

That’s when the Bowl Patrol began a campaign to inundate his call-in radio show with prank calls. The Bowl Patrol callers also practiced “fedposting,” which means they made inflammatory statements on the show to garner attention from FBI agents, such as talking about desecrating the graves of FBI agents. Cantwell was already under FBI surveillance at the time of the Bowl Patrol's campaign, according to court records.

Starting in 2019, federal agents obtained a warrant to access Cantwell’s email accounts. He was also under surveillance at his home, according to court records.

“The Government subpoenaed, obtained, and reviewed Christopher’ s personal data from more than twenty sources, including financial institutions, social media providers, phone companies, and EZ-pass travel data. The FBI watched Christopher as he came and went from his house, using a ‘pole camera’ outside his residence to record his movements day and night,” his defense attorney’s wrote in one court motion.

Bowl Patrol members hacked Cantwell's website and sent his readers emails indicating the Cantwell was a federal informant and they he supported having sex with children, according to his attorneys.

Cantwell retaliated to the Bowl Patrol’s harassment, contacting Keene police more than 50 times, threatening Lambert/Cheddar Mane, and eventually talking to FBI agents, according to court records.

The Bowl Patrol is a group of white supremacists who elevate racist killers like Dylan Roof as part of their online ideology. The group takes their name from Roof’s bowl-style haircut. Roof is the mass murderer who shot and killed nine African Americans during a church service in Charleston, South Carolina.

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