Hassan’s office: Concerns about Bragdon’s LGC job should be ‘carefully and thoroughly addressed'
Governor Hassan does an editorial board focusing on her budget proposal as well as other issues she faces at the beginning of her term as governor.
(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
Senate President Peter Bragdon spoke to the editorial board on Thursday, April 28, 2011.
(Neil Blake/Monitor Staff)
Senate President Peter Bragdon’s new job as the head of the Local Government Center has raised concerns that deserve careful attention, Gov. Maggie Hassan’s office said today.
Spokesman Marc Goldberg issued a statement this afternoon after Hassan, a Democrat, left today’s Executive Council meeting in Plymouth without speaking to reporters.
“There have been significant concerns raised about the appointment and the potential conflicts of interest given that there are numerous issues that come before the Legislature that would either directly or indirectly impact the LGC, and given that the role of Senate president is far reaching,” Goldberg said. “With the LGC’s large scope as one of the biggest insurers in the state, funded by municipalities, with a complicated history and pending lawsuits, this seems like uncharted territory. The governor believes these concerns will need to be carefully and thoroughly addressed by all parties.”
The Concord-based LGC announced yesterday that Bragdon, a Milford Republican and the state Senate’s president since 2010, would start today as its new executive director. Bragdon doesn’t plan to step down as Senate president.
The LGC is locked in a long-running and complex battle with state regulators, with an appeal pending before the state Supreme Court. Bragdon’s hiring drew immediate criticism from the state Bureau of Securities Regulation and Democrats who said it presents a conflict of interest.
Bragdon said yesterday that the LGC post presents “no conflict above and beyond the typical conflicts you have with volunteer senators who are employed elsewhere,” and that he’ll recuse himself from legislation dealing with the regulation of public risk pools like those operated by the LGC.
The state Democratic Party today said it filed a right-to-know request with the LGC seeking additional information about Bragdon’s hiring.
(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)