Queen City Election Official Jim Gaudet Was Arrested for Assaulting Daughter
Manchester, NH —Ward Eight elections clerk Jim Gaudet, the former Litchfield Police Department Lieutenant, was arrested at Christmas time in 2006 for allegedly assaulting his teenage daughter. It was an eventful holiday season for Gaudet, who had earlier been investigated for publicly exposing himself.
The December 30, 2006 edition of the Nashua Telegraph carried the story of Gaudet’s Yuletide arrest, in the first column left above the fold. However, the Gaudet story was overshadowed by news heralding SADDAM HANGED.
The Telegraph story reported that Gaudet, then the #2 men in the Litchfield Police Department, was arrested and charged by the Manchester Police Department with simple assault after his teenage daughter made a complaint that her father had choked her. The 19 year-old daughter was upset that Gaudet had kicked a kitten that he had found in the family Christmas tree.
Jim Gaudet is a long-time resident of Manchester. The Republican was elected Ward Clerk, in 2019, as no one else signed up to run for the position. The Ward Clerk is the top official handling elections in each of the Queen City’s 12 wards.
Under the City Charter, Manchester’s Ward Clerks are considered municipal “officers” and are under the authority of the City Clerk. Their pay on election day and for training sessions is $230.00.
Jim Gaudet, politically, is an ally of controversial Manchester Republican politician and pundit Richard H. Girard. Gaudet still bills himself as the Public Safety Segment Anchor of Girard at Large on a Facebook page that is separate from his own, personal FB page.
While Rich Girard’s radio show, in which Gaudet appeared regularly, went off the air in 2019 — sources say because its financial backer pulled out —the Girard at Large web site is still maintained. Gaudet last posted material on the GAL site in October 2019.
According to the police report, Gaudet assaulted his daughter on Christmas Eve when she complained about his mistreatment of the cat. By his daughter’s account, Gaudet’s response was, “Don’t you ever threaten me again.” Gaudet then grabbed her by the throat and pushed her down the hallway. She claimed that she hit her head on the door.
The girl’s mother, who earlier had filed for a restraining order against Gaudet, pulled her husband’s hand off of her daughter’s throat and demanded that he leave their home. Their daughter took her three younger sisters to a neighbor’s house, and the neighbor took her to the police station.
The police did not find any marks on her neck. She did not seek medical care. Gaudet’s daughter had asked the police is she could file a report on her father’s conduct, but not press criminal charges.
Christmas Day Arrest
The 19 year-old was reluctant to make statement, fearful that her father might lose his job. The matter of disciplining Gaudet for exposing part of his anatomy had caused trouble with the Litchfield board of selectmen/
At approximately 12:30 on Christmas Day, the police went to the Gaudet home, but he was not there. An arrest warrant was issued the next day.
Gaudet was arraigned in Manchester District Court on Thursday, December 28th, and released on $500 bail. The conditions of his bail was that Gaudet could not have any contact with his daughter or go within 100 yards of his home. Trial was set for March 15, 2007.
Earlier in the year, Gaudet’s wife had filed a petition in the Manchester District Court for a restraining order. Gaudet’s wife characterized the career ;aw enforcement officer as abusive and suicidal. Eventually, the case was dismissed.
At the time of the incident, Gaudet was the Administrative Lieutenant of the Litchfield Police Department, the second-in-command to the chief, Jospeh O’Brion. He was on paid medical leave for shoulder surgery.
Gaudet’s police career had been controversial. In 2005, Gaudet put on administrative leave by the Litchfield PD. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department investigated him for alleged use of excessive force with an inmate. He also was accused of counseling a fellow Litchfield police officer to call in sick when the person wasn’t. There also was the public exposure incident.
Gaudet was the subject of an internal investigation for allegedly engaging in “mooning” — bearing his buttocks — at a private Christmas Party. Gaudet’s defense that it was just a prank that had been done at a private party.
Gaudet eventually returned to work and no explanation was given. The backlash against it and other internal investigations of Litchfield police officers almost cost Police Chief O’Brion his job. Had been a sergeant and was promoted over Gaudet and another lieutenant.
The police chief was removed from his office. O’Brion gave a sworn deposition that the reason he had been removed as chief and demoted back to sergeant was that he refused to stop the internal investigation of Gaudet.
The Manchester prosecutor dropped the assault case case in April 2007. No explanation was given. It was the same month that Gaudet ended his active law enforcement career.
The 14-year veteran of the Litchfield Police Department, Gaudet retired at the end of April 2007. In all, his law enforcement career lasted 24 years, including stints with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Amherst, New Hampshire Police Department.