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|King accuser not expected at meeting tonight||Thursday, September 4, 2003|
|Craig MacCormack||Metrowest Daily News|
FRAMINGHAM -- A judge yesterday let the restraining order against Seth
Levenson run out, meaning the man who filed a state ethics complaint against
Town Manager George King can come and go as he pleases.
But with a case pending in Framingham District Court for violating that same order two weeks ago by trying to attend a selectmen's meeting, Levenson isn't expected to show up at tonight's session, his lawyer said yesterday.
Attorney Hank Brennan advised his client to wait until the matter comes up in court to tell his side of events. Nothing is gained by going to the meeting, Brennan said, where Levenson's estranged wife Allison Potter will be taking notes for the board.
"He's very eager to speak to the court," said Brennan, handling questions for Levenson. "He's very eager to tell people what happened. The evidence is clear and compelling.
"The chronology for the restraining order speaks for itself. The timing is dubious at best. There is nothing Mr. Levenson has done that would suggest (Potter) was in imminent fear. Her motive is abundantly clear," said Brennan.
Potter, Levenson's estranged wife, took out a two-week restraining order Aug. 20, one day before Levenson had planned to read a statement to selectmen about an alleged strip poker game involving Town Manager George King.
Levenson did not say if he planned to follow his lawyer's advice and stay away from the Memorial Building tonight. Neither Police Chief Steven Carl nor selectmen Chairman Charles Sisitsky could be reached for comment.
Levenson claims he saw Karen Potter, Allison's sister and one of King's assistants, take her clothes off during a strip poker game. Allison Potter told Judge Richard Greco yesterday she took out the order out of fear of Levenson.
"It seems like this is the right thing to do," she said in Framingham District Court. "I'm in fear of my safety based on his actions. I don't know what to do. His behavior lately was pretty erratic. I was finally fed up."
During an argument with Allison Potter in January, Levenson allegedly broke a plate. In March, she allegedly spilled coffee on him trying to get inside his Rhode Island home after dropping off the couple's children.
Since that time, Levenson has allegedly made threats, Potter said in court yesterday. The most recent threat came when the couple was talking last month about the state of their marriage, she said.
Potter struggled to remember some of the details of the threats, leading Brennan to ask if her "bad memory" was the result of alcohol or substance abuse. Potter denied those allegations.
Brennan asked Potter if Levenson made her leave the couple's home because he was upset she "stayed out all night" or because he believed she was drinking too much.
"I don't have a drinking problem," Potter said. "He forced me out of my house."
Allison Potter said she had "passing dissatisfaction" with newspaper articles about the alleged strip poker game and push-up contests involving King and Karen Potter.
"I thought it was ridiculous behavior on my husband's part (to file the state ethics complaint)," said Allison Potter, who used to work with her sister for King. "That's a separate article.
"(The media accounts) don't have anything to do with me. It was just an example of (Levenson's) erratic, outrageous behavior," she said.
Taking out the restraining order in time to stop Levenson from speaking at the last selectmen's meeting was "a coincidence," said Allison Potter. "I don't want him to speak to me or be near me."
Potter's testimony, Brennan said, "was vague at best, and I think it was purposely vague.
"(Potter) could not, would not or did not articulate anything that shows she was in imminent fear."
Levenson will be back in court Oct. 2 for a pre-trial conference on his violation of the temporary restraining order. Until then, though, he will likely keep his comments on the matter to himself, Brennan said.
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