UNH beginning to pay town for expenses after hockey riot

(AP) – The University of New Hampshire has begun writing checks to the town of Durham to pay expenses from last spring’s hockey championship riot. UNH has sent the town $12,000 as a first payment to cover police overtime and equipment costs. It owes nearly another $12,000 for damaged equipment, cleanup costs and fire department expenses. Several thousand people swarmed into the streets after a hockey championship game last April, starting fires and fighting with police. Eighty-seven people were arrested. Gregg Sanborn, executive assistant to UNH President Ann Weaver Hart, said the remaining expenses would be paid soon. They include $3,400 to the police department for damaged equipment, $1,600 to public works for cleanup costs and $6,800 to the fire department. Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig said he expects to receive full payment from the university in the next month or two, but that he’s not overly concerned about this specific debt. “The town of Durham and the university have many agreements and financial transactions, and this is simply one of them,” he said. “It’s not our focus.” The university’s judicial system has sanctioned most of the 53 arrested students, and several cases are still to be heard, said Esther Tardy-Wolfe, director of the UNH Office of Judicial Programs. Four students were suspended for a year and another for half of the academic year. An additional 32 students were placed on disciplinary probation. Tardy-Wolfe said anyone on disciplinary probation who gets into trouble faces serious consequences, even suspension. Thirty-one students were ordered to pay restitution, eight were sent to alcohol counseling, six were ordered to write letters of apology and three ordered to write reflective papers. Two were determined to have been arrested for no reason. Many of those arrested still are waiting for criminal trials on charges such as disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and criminal mischief. Two students also were charged with escape, for allegedly trying to get away from police after being arrested.

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