McLeod's attorney sees victory for fantasy sportsBy JULIE HANSON
Union Leader Correspondent
October 09. 2012 11:52PM
WINDHAM - The attorney general's decision not to pursue gambling charges against Ross McLeod, a selectman and former Hillsborough County prosecutor, may be a victory for fantasy football.
Attorney General Michael Delaney released a statement Monday stating that the Department of Justice had concluded its investigation into allegations of illegal gambling, electioneering and witness tampering, and would not pursue charges against McLeod.
'Ross was engaging in playing fantasy football with a half-dozen old friends, doing nothing different than what millions of Americans across the country do on a day-to-day basis, especially at this time of the year,' said James Rosenberg, attorney for McLeod. 'Simply stated, fantasy football is not gambling.'
The federal criminal code specifically exempts fantasy sports in its legal definition of gambling.
Meanwhile, McLeod's former boss, Hillsborough County Attorney Dennis Hogan, said the findings by the attorney general prove he was right in saying little about the case.
'The results certainly justify my not saying anything,' said Hogan, who wouldn't answer a question Tuesday about whether he would rehire McLeod.
McLeod's lawyer has said that his client felt obligated to resign as county prosecutor earlier this year when confronted by Hogan over emails that detailed the fantasy football league. McLeod tried to rescind his resignation, which was not successful.
Patricia LaFrance, Hogan's opponent in the upcoming election, did not respond to a reporter's email seeking comment about the matter.
Rosenberg said McLeod cooperated completely with investigators on the gambling allegations and supplied documentation and information to show he had no intention of tampering with potential witnesses.
McLeod maintained his seat on the Board of Selectmen and is currently vice chairman.
'We truly hope this finding puts to rest what has been a true detour from the important issues that face Ross's constituents in Windham,' Rosenberg said.
Hogan's office requested the investigation after finding emails about fantasy football in McLeod's county email. The emails were requested through a right-to-know request filed by Corey Lewandowski, the state director of Americans for Prosperity.
Lewandowski was also satisfied with the attorney general's decision.
'I trust that the attorney general makes the right decision on behalf of the taxpayers,' Lewandowski said.
It was clearly a thorough and intense investigation leading up to the decision not to pursue charges, he said. Citizens have a duty to make sure that taxpayer dollars and resources aren't being wasted, Lewandowski said, and that was the motivation behind requesting the emails. If a law was broken or taxpayer dollars wasted, Lewandowski said he would expect someone to be held accountable.
McLeod chalked up the incident to a political attack and said he is pleased with the outcome of the investigation.
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Julie Hanson may be reached at Jhanson@newstote.com. New Hampshire Union Leader reporter Mark Hayward (firstname.lastname@example.org) contributed to this article.