A Republican lawmaker in New Hampshire found himself on the wrong side of the law earlier this month after he apparently berated a snowplow driver for the way he did his job.
In the early morning hours of March 4, Paul Manson began plowing the streets of Wentworth, New Hampshire, a small town of fewer than 1,000 people about an hour north of Concord. According to the New York Post, nearly a foot of snow had fallen that night, causing major problems on the roads. As he always does, Manson cleared the roads by redirecting the snow to the side.
Unfortunately, all that snow must go somewhere, and nearby driveways sometimes end up with snow piles that are several feet high. That day, Republican state Rep. Jeffrey Greeson of Wentworth seemed to lose his patience with the snow-removal process and unloaded on Manson for the giant snowdrift at the end of his property.
"He just started giving me hell, and I didn’t know what was going on," Manson later recalled. "When I got out of the truck, he started screaming in my face. So I got back in the truck and got my phone."
"Here’s where my driveway ends, right here. Push it out of the road!" Greeson yelled as he allegedly gave Manson the one-finger salute. "Your job is to clear the road. Clear the road! Now, get in your truck and do your job!"
Manson said that he empathized with Greeson's frustration but that he was simply doing what he was trained to do.
"My job is to get the snow off the road," Manson said. "And I feel bad most of the time because I do put snow back in people’s driveway, and I really can’t help it."
Manson added that he often has to remove a pile at the end of his own driveway when his "15-, 16-, 18-hour shift" is over. Despite his empathy, Manson reported the incident to police, especially since Greeson seemed to try to keep Manson from filming it.
On March 10, Greeson, 51, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, criminal threatening, and simple assault, according to a statement from the New Hampshire State Police. He was released on personal recognizance and is scheduled to appear in court on March 18.
According to WMUR-TV, Greeson did not comment on the cell phone video footage but did make a statement about the incident in general: "I had a heated exchange with a man. I apologized to the man. That was several days ago, and we have both moved on." Manson confirmed that Greeson left him a voice mail, apologizing for his behavior, but said that the two had not spoken since their meeting that snowy morning.
Greeson, 51, may consider himself a weather expert of sorts. According to his personal biography on the state's website, he earned a B.S. in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma and an M.S. in meteorology and oceanography from Naval Postgraduate School. He served 20 years in the U.S. Navy, and now, in addition to his responsibility as a state rep., he works as a minister "throughout New England and across the country."
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