AG: Manchester City Solicitor "Failed" To Prosecute Domestic Violence Offenders
Update: Manchester City Solicitor, Tom Clark, announced his resignation Friday afternoon.
Manchester city officials met with the city solicitor and the attorney general’s office Friday to discuss an investigation into Manchester City Solicitor’s office. The meeting was held to discuss quote “corrective action” and “potential terminations.” None of the parties present agreed to discuss the meeting.
The meeting followed Thursday’s announcement from the Attorney General’s office that it had concluded an investigation into the City Solicitor’s handling of domestic violence. The City Solicitor prosecutes misdemeanor offenses in the city, including domestic violence.
Attorney General Gordon MacDonald wrote that the Manchester City Solicitor’s office has "failed its mission to prosecute successfully domestic violence cases, and to provide assistance and support to victims of domestic violence crimes."
The letter outlines a multitude of failures: lack of trial skills by one prosecutor; her failure to keep detailed records; lack of supervision by City Solicitor Tom Clark; the office’s failure to document office protocol.
The domestic violence cases under scrutiny are lower level cases: felony charges are prosecuted by County Attorneys. The Hillsborough County Attorney’s office was not under investigation, but is responsible for “the integrity of prosecutions at the local level,” according to the MacDonald.
His office provides $30,000 in grant funding to the Manchester City Solicitor for the prosecution of domestic violence cases.
A meeting is scheduled for August to review the city solicitor’s compliance with the Attorney General’s directives.