Woman details assault by Weare police chief
Judge issues restraining order
WEARE, N.H. — The woman who obtained a restraining order against her boss, Weare Police Chief John Velleca, said he came to her Hillsboro home uninvited, grabbed her cellphone, and pushed her several times as she was talking to his wife about the affair she had had with him.
In a sworn statement filed Monday in Hillsboro District Court, Jennifer Posteraro said her affair with Velleca began in July and has since ended. Posteraro said Velleca came to her house on Sept. 11, in uniform and driving a cruiser, and began yelling at her about conversations she was having with his wife about the affair.
Velleca is on leave from the job he took in November to help improve the embattled department’s reputation.
He did not immediately return a call Tuesday seeking comment. Tom Clow, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, issued a statement saying Velleca requested to be placed on leave and denies any wrongdoing.
Posteraro, 40, said in the sworn statement that she became Velleca’s personal assistant in May and had a brief affair with him during the summer. Since then, she said, Velleca has threatened her and she fears for her safety.
Velleca, who has been praised as a reform-minded chief, took over the department last year after the fatal shooting of a suspect by police. The department had been beset by severe criticism, citizen distrust, and federal lawsuits alleging use of excessive force and abuse of power. Velleca had retired as acting chief of the New Haven Police Department, where he was credited with reforming a narcotics unit.
In her statement, Posteraro said when the chief came to her house on Sept. 11, Posteraro called his wife, who lives in Connecticut with their young daughter.
‘‘I called Mrs. Velleca while Chief Velleca was yelling at me so she could hear what was happening,’’ she said. ‘‘He took the phone from me and started out the door.’’
She pursued him, asking that he not take the phone. He twice pushed her hard enough to knock her to the ground, but ultimately handed her the phone and left.
Posteraro called Hillsboro police when Velleca returned to her house on Sept. 13. The officers who came to her house said they had intercepted Velleca and he denied any physical relationship with Posteraro and told them she was attempting to break up his marriage.
She said Velleca’s behavior toward her since July had become ‘‘increasingly volatile and erratic.’’
The temporary order signed by a judge Monday bars Velleca from coming within 100 feet of Posteraro and requires him to surrender all firearms. A hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 15 to determine whether the order should be permanent.