Gerard Beloin has been a roofer for more than two decades. In 2002, he was one of several roofers to place a bid on the new roofing project in the neighboring town of Goffstown, New Hampshire for their local high school Goffstown High School. In preparing for his bid, he examined the roof. He noticed that the roof was not only not up to code, but dangerously close to collapsing. The roof was made of tectum decking. This material is strong when it is first installed however tectum becomes weak when exposed to water.(page 5 number 3 explains the potential dangers) As such, after being exposed to water for many years, the material was now dangerously close to collapse. (note the video is about five minutes but a few minutes in a demonstration is made of what will happen to this material)
Gerard Beloin took his concerns to school board President, Dr. Craig Hieber. Hieber began to speak behind the scenes with other members of the school board about what should be done. Then, only months after Beloin brought his concerns to Dr. Hieber, Dr. Hieber died. (or very likely he was killed since his death was consistent with ARDS, which can happen when someone is gassed)
Dr. Hieber was replaced on the school board by Kerry Steckowich. Steckowych was then, and now, the head Prosecutor for the city of Goffstown as well as a member of the school board. Steckowych was having none of Beloin's concerns, and furthermore, the contract for the roof went to another company, Prime Roofing of New Ipswich, NH. Furthermore, while the roof has still never been brought up to code, the contractors were paid.
Beloin then became a man on a mission and began investigating the circumstances of Dr. Hieber's death and the school board in general. He begin to suspect that the whole thing was significant corruption and that Steckowych was in the middle of it. He took his concerns to the New Hampshire Attorney General's office. The chief investigator for the Attorney General's office, Michael Bahan responded like this.
Steckowych is a close personal friend of mine. If Steckowych is involved, there is no crime.
Michael Bahan is himself a curious character. When he was still simply an investigator, he was in charge of the investigation of Judge John Fairbanks. Fairbanks was accused of stealing nearly $2 million from his law clients. Bahan had concluded that Fairbanks was innocent of all charges. Shortly after this though, Fairbanks fled the country when the FBI began to investigate him. Furthermore, New Hampshire authorities appeared to have botched a trace on the phone of Fairbanks' relatives and he was able to make several calls back into the state after leaving the country. Eventually Fairbanks wound up on the FBI's 10 most wanted list, and he even earned the notorious distinction of being featured on America's Most Wanted. Dispite this rather obscene and high profile screw up, Bahan eventually earned a promotion and was chief investigator at the time he crossed paths with Beloin.
The place next door to his place of business burnt down. Despite there being all sorts of curious circumstances surrounding the fire that burnt down this building, according to this letter, the fire chief of Goffstown, Frank Carpentino, had no interest in investigating it. As the threats began to be more dire, Beloin began to secretly record meetings with Kerry Steckowych and others involved in this evolving corruption. At one point, local real estate mogul, John Janigan, was recorded by Beloin saying this. In this recording, Janigan makes an allusion to certain nefarious elements using bombs with gas in them. Of course, Dr. Hieber died in a manner consistent with being gassed. As a result, Beloin signed this letter in which he promised not to investigate Kerry Steckowych any further.
Beloin eventually broke that promise and he continued to secretly record Steckowych and his allies. Beloin took all his recordings and not only published them on the net (transcript here) but took his evidence again to the New Hampshire Attorney General's. These tapes included admissions of arson, extortion, and kickbacks. This time the Attorney General's office began investigating Beloin. That's because recording someone without their permission is a misdemeanor in New Hampshire. Publishing them is a felony. Beloin should have been covered by the law in two ways. First, he always recorded everyone in public places where there was no expectation of privacy. Second of all, all of these recordings are recordings of criminal acts. One can't have an expectation of privacy if they are talking about committing criminal acts.
Yet, beginning in 2005, the state of New Hampshire began a three year court battle with Beloin. Because Beloin has represented himself throughout, the legal proceedings have not been able to cripple him financially. (he eventually hired attorney Paula Werme to guide him through but maintains the lead role in his defense) This case has seen more than 300 hearings, motions, and . The first judge, Judge Phillip Mangones, refused to allow Beloin to play the recordings and he eventually found against Beloin. Beloin appealed to the New Hampshire Supreme Court and the decision was overturned.
The case then wound up in the court of Judge James Barry Jr. Judge James Barry Jr. initially also refused to listen to the recordings. Keep in mind, the contents of these recordings don't merely show evidence of criminal wrongdoing of folks in and around the New Hampshire political class, but their contents are crucial in proving Beloin's innocence. For two judges to simply refuse to hear them is nothing short of a violation of Beloin's due process rights. Still, Judge Barry eventually not only dismissed the case but with prejudice. (transcript here)
Despite this unambiguous ruling, the state was allowed to re file. Furthermore, the case again would up in front of Judge Barry and this time he refused to even acknowledge that he had already dismissed the case with prejudice. The case continues to be pending today. hereThe trial is now set for November 10th, likely not coincidentally, a few days after the election.
To this day, no one, besides Gerard Beloin himself, has been charged or investigated. The death of Dr. Hieber hasn't been investigated. No one committing crimes on any of the tapes that Beloin made available to local and state authorities has been charged or investigated. There has been little media attention to all of these proceedings. While it remains unclear why that is, Joe McQuade, publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, appears to have a friendly relationship with Kerry Steckowych. Furthermore, the landscape of print journalism in New Hampshire appears to be a near monopoly. That's because the Scagliotti and Tomasko families, which co own the Union Leader, also own many of the other local papers within New Hampshire.
Furthermore, general contractors have gained a terrible reputation because their business has been infected by the well earned reputation of being too close to the criminal element. When an entity, like a school board, is spending someone else's (like the tax payers) money, it is easy for the process to be corrupted. The full project for the Goffstown School District wound up costing nearly $1.5 million and the roof was still not updated. The full story behind this may never be known. Yet, Gerard Beloin continues to fear for his life and only the evidence he has published and others he holds onto continue to keep him safe.
Here is the follow up to this story.