by The Associated Press

A high-ranking state official has apologized to Berlin Mayor Richard Bosa for comments he made about deadbeat dad charges Bosa faces in Pennsylvania.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Terry Morton said he was sorry for remarks he made to Bosa at a mayors' conference in Keene.

"I did not intend in any way to offend you," Morton wrote.

Bosa accused Morton of referring to Bosa's arrest "in a humorous tone."

Bosa was charged May 23 with a misdemeanor under the state's nonsupport law. The state claims he owes $49,000 in child support to his ex-wife and three children in Pennsylvania.

The state's chief of child support enforcement, Mark Wefers, personally served the arrest warrant - which he said he has done many times in similar cases.

But Bosa claims that Wefers, who is not a lawyer and only is a part.time police officer, had no right to serve the arrest warrant.

Bosa filed a citizen's complaint last Tuesday charging Wefers with official oppression and false imprisonment.

His motion to dismiss the charges is scheduled for Friday in Berlin District Court, and when Wefers appears for the hearing, Bosa said he will have him arrested.

"He's used to being a rogue or cowboy, making arrests throughout the state without any authority, but in Berlin, we understand the law," Bosa said.

Bosa has also claimed the charges against him are political, not criminal.

Morton, who is Wefers boss, made reference to that claim when he spoke with Bosa at the conference.

"You may choose not to believe this, but neither I, nor the governor for that matter, has any ax to grind with respect to you, and your case is not being pursued for any political gain," Morton wrote. He sent a copy of the letter to Gov. Jeanne Shaheen.

Bosa contends New Hampshire only became interested in pursuing the deadbeat dad charges after he ran in the Republican gubernatorial primary last fall and criticized then-Attorney Ceneral Jeffrey Howard's intervention in a Berlin tax dispute.

A hearing on the deadbeat dad charge in Norristown, Pa., is scheduled for Tuesday.

Copyright 1997

The Caledonian-Record

http://www.hcr.net/cr/

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