Temporary restraining order against New Ipswich elected official remains intact 

  • Rebecca Doyle, a New Ipswich resident, defended her husband Alan in court on Friday. Staff photo by Abby Kessler

  • Alan Doyle, who is on the New Ipswich Budget Committee, took the stand in court on Friday in connection with a domestic violence or stalking petition filed against him by a town employee. Staff photo by Abby Kessler

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, February 19, 2018 5:35PM

A temporary restraining order filed by a New Ipswich town employee against a member of the town’s budget committee will remain in place until the court picks the issue up again on Wednesday.

The town employee filed for a restraining order earlier this month in connection with an alleged incident where Alan Doyle lifted her blouse up twice on the night of Dec. 5.

The Ledger-Transcript’s policy is to not identify the victims in cases of this nature.

In Jaffrey Superior Court on Friday afternoon, the woman testified that Doyle came into her office around 5 p.m. on Dec. 5 and lifted her long blouse up and made a comment that he was “just peeking.” The woman said she didn’t say anything in response, but told a co-worker immediately after it happened. Later on that same night, the woman said while she was at a copy machine Doyle lifted up her blouse again and said that he was “gawking.” The woman said she told the same co-worker about the second incident immediately after it happened.

The woman said she told Town Administrator Joanne Meshna the day after it happened. The town’s attorney Barton Mayer also started an internal investigation into the matter.

The investigation found that Doyle had violated the town’s sexual harassment policy, which is outlined in an employee handbook. A letter was sent to Doyle that stated he couldn’t come to the Town Hall without a prior appointment and stated that he should resign from the budget committee.

But, the woman who accused Doyle said he disregarded the notice and continued coming to the Town Hall without an appointment, and remained on the budget committee. Doyle also filed for candidacy again this year, although the town’s Budget Committee could be dismantled depending on how residents vote in March.

The woman said Doyle has come into the Town Hall without an appointment multiple times since the alleged Dec. 5 incident. One of the times he came into the office, she said, Doyle stood with his arms crossed, glaring at her. Doyle’s disregard for rules mapped out by town officials left her feeling nervous, she said.

In court on Friday, Doyle denied lifting up the woman’s shirt the first time in her office but said he did “flick” her shirt up the second time by the copier. He said he made some sort of a sound after it happened like “woo woo,” and that she turned around, smiled at him, and gave him a “butt wag.”

Doyle said he has known the woman who filed the order against him for some time. He said the woman came over to his house for a pool party in 2015, and since then, the two have maintained a “flirty” relationship. Doyle said the woman has hugged and kissed him many times, specifically pointing to a Nov. 28 Board of Selectmen’s meeting when he said that she hugged him and pecked him on the cheek after he brought in candy for town employees.

Rob Stanley, who lives in New Ipswich, testified that he was at the Selectmen’s meeting on Nov. 28 and witnessed the woman hug and kiss Doyle.

Doyle’s wife, Rebecca, who used to be a town selectmen, confirmed that the two had a “flirty” relationship. Rebecca said she has seen the woman hugging and kissing her husband “many times.”

“Based on their past relationship why would [Doyle] ever think that lifting up the back of her shirt a couple of times would be offensive and stalking?” Doyle’s attorney said in court. “It was common for her to hug and kiss him.”

The woman denied the claims, saying in court that she has “never kissed the man.”

Doyle said that he never agreed he violated the town’s sexual harassment policy, which is why he didn’t follow the terms laid out by town officials. Doyle said in court that he’d never read the policy.

The hearing concluded on Friday after three hours. The proceeding will continue on Wednesday afternoon at a court in Keene.

Abby Kessler can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 234 or akessler@ledgertranscript.com.