Oct 4, 2015 8:59 AM
Laconia judge and former Portsmouth police officer to be recognized at 1st Amendement event
MANCHESTER - A long-time Portsmouth police officer and a New Hampshire District Court judge are being honored at this year's Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Awards event.
Former Officer John Connors is the 13th recipient of the annual First Amendment Award. He is being honored for his courage in publicly reporting his suspicions that a Portsmouth detective was exercising undue influence on an elderly millionaire who revised her will to include the detective.
Laconia Circuit Court Judge James Carroll is being recognized with a Quill & Ink Award for his strong support of the public's right of free speech. He dismissed charges against two Lakes Region residents who were arrested while speaking at public hearings.
"The Loeb School is pleased to recognize former Officer Connors for speaking out when he suspected wrongdoing, only to be disciplined himself," said David Tirrell-Wysocki, executive director of the non-profit school.
"Judge Carroll's strongly worded rulings in two First Amendment cases made it clear that public officials cannot silence free speech, even if they don't like the message or the messenger," he said.
The awards will be presented at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord on Nov. 12.
The awards were established by the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications to honor New Hampshire organizations or
residents who protect or exemplify the liberties granted in the First Amendment.