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March 19. 2013 9:13PM

Democrats want answer about Chris Sununu's actions in Salem case

CONCORD - The state Democratic Party has filed right-to-know requests with Executive Councilor Chris Sununu and the Attorney General's Office in reference to Sununu's letter to Salem District Court Judge Michael Sullivan the day before the judge was to sentence a former town official who was convicted of keeping first responders away from his wife.

The request came days after Sununu announced that he was considering running for either governor or for the U.S. House of Representatives next year. It also coincides with state Republican Party Chair Jennifer Horn submitting a right-to-know request with Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan and the state Lottery Commission in reference to the proposed expanded gambling bill that would allow a casino in New Hampshire.

"Pursuant to RSA 91-A, I hereby request a copy of any and all documents concerning your attempts to influence Judge Michael Sullivan on or about January 10, 2013," state Democratic Party attorney Dan McKenna wrote to Sununu. The letter was included in a state Democratic Party press release.

The Attorney General's Office was asked to investigate the letter, which Sununu has called a character reference for former Salem budget committee member Patrick McDougall. It was delivered to Sullivan, who called it "untoward" and a "highly unusual event." Sullivan sentenced McDougall to 48 hours in county jail and 50 hours of community service after McDougall was convicted in December of obstructing government administration.

Sununu, who could not be reached Tuesday for comment, wrote in his letter that, "I have come to know (McDougall) as a terrific father and husband." He has said he spoke with Attorney General Michael Delaney about the matter and believes he's done nothing wrong.

The Democratic Party also asked the Attorney General's Office for a copy of its investigative file on the matter.

tbuckland@unionleader.com


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