CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – A New Hampshire state trooper who was arrested at headquarters last year, accused of threatening to shoot co-workers, has been fired and is fighting to get his job back so he can qualify for retirement benefits.

James Conrad of Concord, 49, blames the incident on command staff for restraining him while he was trying to resign last November.

“What happened to me shouldn’t happen to anyone. My rights were taken away from me by people who had no right to do so,” Conrad, a 14-year veteran of the state police, said in a recent phone interview with the New Hampshire Sunday News. “I ask that people think of our state motto, ‘Live Free or Die.’ “

Police say Conrad threatened to take a Concord officer’s weapon and shoot everyone in the room. Police said the incident began as a domestic dispute in a divorce that spilled into the workplace.

Conrad was charged with criminal threatening, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, all misdemeanors. A hearing on the charges is scheduled for April 24.

Conrad was fired on March 18. His attorney, James Donchess, filed an appeal last week of his termination to the New Hampshire Personnel Appeals Board.

State police command staff members “should not should have restrained Trooper Conrad, and therefore he was not the cause of the problems which resulted from his efforts to leave NHSP headquarters,” Donchess wrote.

Although Conrad had written a letter of resignation and submitted it to a member of State Police command staff, who refused to accept it , he now wants his job back, Donchess wrote.

“When he had time to reflect, Trooper Conrad reconsidered his resignation and decided that he wanted to retain his employment until he could retire after 20 years,” Donchess wrote.

Conrad would be able to receive full retirement if he is reinstated for nine months, Donchess wrote.

Information from: New Hampshire Union Leader,

AP-ES-04-06-08 0957EDT

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