Sen. Fuller Clark wants AG review of cop’s inheritance case (NH)

PORTSMOUTH — State Sen. Martha Fuller Clark is calling for outside intervention regarding police Sgt. Aaron Goodwin’s disputed $2.7 million inheritance and the fallout that has ensued.

Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, said she was asked by a constituent to contact the attorney general’s office about the situation and she has agreed to do so.

“It seems to me, at this point, we need some outside analysis in this situation, to make sure everything is looked at appropriately,” Fuller Clark said Thursday.

Traveling until Monday, Fuller Clark said she will “reach out to the attorney general to see if this is something they might consider looking into.”

“I just think everyone is very distressed that this just seems to continue on,” she said. “We want to get to the bottom of this and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Fuller Clark’s plan to request the attorney general’s guidance comes two weeks after Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine sent an open letter to the attorney general asking for a review. Splaine references a report published earlier this month by an independent panel, led by retired judge Stephen Roberts, which said Goodwin breached six regulations pertaining to his challenged inheritance. Splaine’s letter said that much of what’s happened seems “due to a lack of Police Department and Police Commission oversight, resulting in inaction that may not have served to the best protections of our citizens.”

Splaine asked Attorney General Joseph Foster to continue to monitor the situation, adding “if you feel the need, that you offer your judgement and advice to Portsmouth city officials so that our citizens will be best protected in the future and so that our Police Department and Police Commission will take the necessary corrective actions as detailed by the Robert’s Panel Investigatory Report.”

Goodwin is accused in the Strafford County probate court of exerting undue influence over Webber, while she was impaired by dementia, to ultimately inherit most of her $2.7 million estate. Goodwin’s inheritance diminished bequests to the Portsmouth Police and Fire Departments, as well as two medical charities, all of which were named one-quarter beneficiaries in Webber’s prior will.

Goodwin testified that Webber told him two months after he met her, while he was on duty, that she wanted to give him her waterfront home. He said he offered her assistance, took her out for cocktails and to casinos and helped her with her banking. He also helped her find a lawyer to change her will, after several did not, and said her bequest to him “made her happy.”

The attorney general’s office has been copied on all filings for the probate court case.

About 100 people attended a public hearing with the Police Commission Wednesday night when 32 citizens spoke about the matter. Without exception, all of them spoke in disapproval.

Attribution:

Sen. Fuller Clark wants AG review of cop’s inheritance case
Senator says ‘outside analysis’ is needed
Elizabeth Dinan
June 18, 2015
SeaCoastOnline.com
http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20150618/NEWS/150619039

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