He's battled cancer, COVID: Now Lachance looks for political comeback

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From left, Jeremy Hutchinson and Palana Hunt-Hawkins led the call for the resignation of Doug Lachance, center. (Courtesy photos)

ROCHESTER - Former city mayor and councilor Doug Lachance, who resigned his City Council seat in April a month after police reopened a sexual assault probe from 2007 involving a 16-year-old, will be running for a Ward 1 City Council slot again.

Lachance's opponent this time around will be Skip Gilman.

The sex assault probe that threatened to derail Lachance's political career concerned an alleged victim coming forward with accusations of abuse in the spring of 2001 when Lachance was Rochester mayor.

The reopening of the case gave rise to a flurry of calls for Lachance to resign from his City Council seat, an effort led by City Councilor Jeremy Hutchinson and Palana Hunt-Hawkins, who is now a candidate for mayor in the November election.

But then Strafford County Attorney Tom Velardi announced in August that the case would not be moving forward as the complainant admitted he could no longer recall details of Lachance's alleged misconduct.

Meanwhile, an ethics commission proposed by Hutchinson just days before the sordid revelations of Lachance's alleged misconduct surfaced remains a work in progress in the city's codes and ordinances committee.

Lachance, 57, a longtime Realtor and business owner, resigned his City Council seat on April 14 about a month after police reopened the now-closed probe.

In recent years he has battled melanoma and COVID.

Lachance, who was not immediately available, has consistently denied all allegations of abuse.

Hutchinson and Hunt-Hawkins were also not immediately available for comment for this story.

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