[Hpn] These men are "scum" and they have got away with and done this for years!!
Tue, 15 Jul 2003 07:05:34 -0400
July 15, 2003
Two admit guilt in
charity food theft
By DALE VINCENT
Union Leader Staff
MANCHESTER - Two former volunteers at New Horizons soup kitchen and food
pantry have pleaded guilty to giving food meant for the hungry and homeless
to a Manchester social club.
William Egan, 70, of 1 Carpenter St., Hooksett, a former Manchester police
officer, and Robert St. Onge, 68, of 59 Varney St., Manchester, pleaded
guilty to misdemeanor theft charges Friday in Manchester District Court.
The plea agreement required a written public apology be sent via a letter to
the editor of The Union Leader for publication on the Letters page. The two
men were also fined $1,000 each, plus $100 penalty assessment, with $500
suspended pending good behavior for two years.
The two were arrested in May after they dropped off $152 worth of the
groceries at the Raphael's Young Men's Club on Granite Street. The food had
been picked up earlier that morning at the Hannaford supermarket in
Goffstown, which keeps a bin where patrons can donate foodstuffs for the
homeless shelter/food pantry.
Shortly after the arrests, Raphael Club board member Roger Ballard said the
food was placed on an extra bar or table and left out for any of the 600
members to take home. "This was wide open. We never suspected any foodstuffs
brought in or brought in without permission," Ballard said.
Also arrested in the incident was James Athas, 63, of 3A Palomino Court,
Goffstown, a bartender at the club, who was charged with receiving stolen
property. His attorney, David Horan, said Athas' trial is scheduled for Aug.
In his letter to the editor, St. Onge apologized for his actions in giving
away the food that was donated to New Horizons.
In part, St. Onge's letter reads: "I had erroneously believed that since I
had been a volunteer for New Horizons of N.H. for several years, that since
most if not all the food was approaching an expiration date for consumption,
since at least some of it would end up with needy seniors and/or children's
charities and particularly where I received nothing whatsoever in return, I
had some leeway to make such distributions. In fact I had no actual
authority to do so."
New Horizons executive director Michael Tessier said yesterday he had not
received a copy of the letter and said, "New Horizons at least deserves
that." In May Tessier said an anonymous caller phoned him in April to tell
him the lone New Horizons van was "seen giving food out" in the parking lot
behind the club and "said it had been going on for awhile."
Raphael board member Mark Burkush yesterday said the board would be meeting
tonight to discuss a donation to New Horizons. He said the club had been
waiting to see how much was raised with the annual June golf tournament.
The Granite Street club, which counts alderman, journalists, a retired
police chief and a former judge or two as members, donates thousands of
dollars to local charities each year, including money for a foster parent
group to hold a Christmas party.
The Union Leader Copyright © 2003