Amherst Select Board 12/21/15. Jim Wald on right
Amherst Select Board member Jim Wald was arrested by Amherst police over the weekend and charged with "Assault on a family member," arraigned before Judge John Payne this morning in Eastern Hampshire District Court where his case was continued to January 28th for a Pretrial Hearing.
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I have not felt this lousy about reporting an event concerning an Amherst town official since that sad Sunday morning in late September when I broke the shocking news of Town Manager John Musante's death at too early an age.
The relatively new Domestic Violence Law, in order to protect victims, requires police to purge from their daily logs any domestic abuse incident, aka Chapter 56A.
In addition, Eastern Hampshire District Court will not provide the police "Statement of Facts" that I rely on with my usual drunk driving or party house arrest reports.
I reached out to Mr. Wald asking him for a statement. But other than pointing out, "Not everything you read or hear is true or as characterized -- which is why in this country one is innocent until proven guilty," he did not have anything further to say.
Had it been a DPW worker, Dispatcher or Town Hall janitor you would not be reading this report. But Mr. Wald is a high ranking town official (although at $300/year he makes far less pay than any of those three other examples) who simply must be held to a higher standard.
And a reporter who decides whether or not to report a story based on personal feelings -- good or bad -- towards personalities involved, is a lousy reporter.