Patch first reported in January that Bedford Town Council member Jim Scanlon was under investigation by the New Hampshire Attorney General for allegedly accosting and verbally harassing a Bedford election official – former council chairman Mike Izbicki – during the Jan. 10 New Hampshire Primary.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew Mavrogeorge recently released his investigation report, which was addressed to Bedford Town Moderator Ryk Bullock, stating "no violations of the election laws of this state occurred."
Still, after speaking with Izbicki, Scanlon and three third-party election officials who were present or near the alleged incident, the AG's investigator, Myke Myrdek did indicate an altercation occurred between the two.
The report states that Izbicki claims Scanlon called him an "idiot" and a "loser." At least one other person interviewed confirmed hearing the latter. Izbicki said he was so surprised by the name calling that he "miss-fed" a ballot and jammed the electronic ballot-counting device. Scanlon told Myrdek that he didn't call Izbicki any names, but did confirm the two didn't get along.
Scanlon, in a release which he distributed to town officials, employees and journalists this week, said the two-sides discourse between he and Izbicki should have been handled at a proper location, rather than the site of the elections.
On Wednesday, February 29, almost 2 weeks ago, the Attorney General’s office directly notified Mr. Bullock by mail with copies to myself and Mr. Izbicki that their investigation of an alleged incident between Mr. Izbicki and myself was now complete. Their determination was that the case was now closed with no fault found and that no violation of election law had occurred. Mr. Bullock’s initial announcement to you about this incident has subsequently been re-announced and hammered home over a dozen different times in the press (The Union Leader and The Bedford Journal) over BCTV’s airwaves half a dozen times, and again by the same person in several ongoing blogs. As this finding of the Attorney General’s office is almost 2 weeks old and no announcement of its dismissal has been made by Mr. Bullock, I am taking this opportunity to make you publicly aware of its outcome. Let me also add that it is regretful to me that this two-sided discourse between Mr. Izbicki and myself did not occur at another time and another place. I, like every other elected official, deeply appreciate your contribution to the electoral process, and in no way would seek to mar that important day.
Mavrogeorge's letter went on to place the responsibility of the "polling place and the individuals who work there" in the hands of Bullock.
"It is advisable that you make known that all questions regarding the election and the individuals who are working at the polling place be directed to you. Indeed, Mr. Izbicki and Mr. Scanlon both now recognize that this is the preferable course of action. As you know, election officials have important jobs to do in helping to ensure our state's elections continue to be a model for other state's to follow. Accordingly, it is important for election officials to be able to work in an environment that is free from as many unnecessary distractions as possible. As the moderator, you are in the best position to make sure that such an environment exists."