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N.H. Legal Rights Foundation severs ties with Bettencourt

May 29. 2012 12:33PM

CONCORD - The New Hampshire Legal Rights Foundation (NHLRF) has decided to sever ties with former state Rep. D.J. Bettencourt, who was being considered as the organization's executive director.

The NHLRF board of directors made the decision after a meeting called over the Memorial Day weekend. Bettencourt, who resigned last week from the New Hampshire State House of Representatives after alleged improprieties surfaced relating to his enrollment in law school, was being considered by the board for the executive director position.

'We don't know the full story yet,' said board Chairman Timothy Condon. 'However, it appears that the allegations are serious enough that we feel it's necessary to sever our emerging relationship with Mr. Bettencourt for the good of the organization.'

The NHLRF, which was formed in 2008, first came to public attention when the NHLRF sponsored a legal action that year on behalf of a number of towns and individuals to enforce the state constitutional amendment which had been passed in 2006 to promote every New Hampshire town with a sufficient population having its own representative. That lawsuit failed when the New Hampshire Supreme Court refused to implement the amendment until after the 2010 census. Since that time the organization has been quiescent, but over the past several months has been in the process of being revitalized. The purpose and aims of the organization are highlighted on its new website at

Condon said, 'While we are severing the relationship we were considering with Mr. Bettencourt for the good of our organization, this does not mean that we have concluded that he acted wrongfully. We prefer to wait for the system put in place by the law school to play out, and we hope that the final findings will clear up the matters that impel our decision.'

As a result of the board's action, Condon said, the NHLRF will now be aggressively seeking and speaking with other candidates for the position.

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