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Suffolk candidate for register of probate accused in verbal conflict

Patricia Campatelli, who ­recently defeated Boston city councilor Salvatore LaMattina in a race for Suffolk register of probate, was involved in a verbal altercation at an East ­Boston restaurant last week, witnesses said.

Nancy LoConte, 51, of East Boston said she witnessed the Sept. 22 incident and filed a complaint with Boston police the next day. LoConte said Campatelli, 48, shouted profane insults at her and the group she was dining with on the patio of Ecco, a bar and restaurant on Porter Street.

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“She was screaming,” ­LoConte said of Campatelli. “She was yelling at people she didn’t even know.”

Campatelli did not return calls seeking comment Friday. A Boston police spokesman confirmed that an incident occurred at Ecco last weekend, but was unable to provide additional information because no charges have been filed and the matter is under investigation.

Earlier this month, Campatelli defeated LaMattina in the Democratic primary for Suffolk register of probate as an underdog candidate and is now running unopposed.

Days before the election, Campatelli, who is a statewide program supervisor for the ­Office of Community Corrections, was asked by a Globe reporter about profanity-laced posts from her Facebook ­account. She denied having written the posts, saying her ­account had been hacked.

The register of probate oversees wills, adoptions, divorces, and child custody.

LoConte said she was eating appetizers at Ecco Saturday night with a group of about 10 other people after a fund-raiser at the Don Orione Home in East Boston. One person in that group — state Representative Carlo P. Basile, Democrat of East Boston — said he believes Campatelli shouted at him and his friends because they supported LaMattina in the register of probate race.

“I took it as, because I was with Sal and not with her,” Basile said.

LoConte, who said she has done campaign work for ­LaMattina, said she knows Campatelli as a fellow East ­Boston native but had never spoken to her. Campatelli at one point mistakenly referred to LoConte as Denise and ­appeared to be leaving the ­patio, LoConte said, when she turned in the doorway and ­began yelling.

“She swore at me; she told me I was a sellout; she told me all these things,” LoConte said. “She just kept badgering.”

Basile said Campatelli hurled verbal jabs at the entire group. “We were in shock, just every­body there was in shock,” he said.

LoConte said Campatelli eventually moved in her direction before another patron inter­vened. In the process, ­LoConte said, Campatelli knocked over a table and broke a glass. A manager then ushered Campatelli away, according to LoConte.

A hostess who answered the phone at the restaurant Friday said she could not comment and a manager could not be reached.

A police report on an incident at Ecco over the weekend contains redacted names, but LoConte confirmed the information was consistent with her filing. In the report, a subject is described as having become belligerent with several patrons and wait staff.

LoConte said she is not dwelling on the altercation, a sentiment echoed by Basile, who said, “I just hope it never happens again, and I hope that she serves the people well.”

Zachary T. Sampson can be
reached at zachary.sampson@
globe.com
.
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