Executive Council confirms governor’s judicial, PUC nominations
The Executive Council approved Gov. Maggie Hassan’s nominations of four circuit court judges and a member of the state Public Utilities Commission yesterday.
Susan Carbon of Chichester, James Foley of Dover, Margaret-Ann Moran of Manchester and Patricia Quigley of Concord were confirmed as circuit court judges.
Only one of the votes was not unanimous; Republican Councilor Chris Sununu voted against Carbon’s nomination. Carbon, already a part-time circuit court judge in Manchester, was the director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women from 2010 to 2012.
“Her resume’s very, very impressive, there’s no question about it,” Sununu said at yesterday’s meeting. “We did receive a large amount of concerns concerning her nominations.”
Sununu said the council had heard concerns from people who appeared before Carbon while she was a family court judge.
“So obviously those folks who don’t walk away in a favorable manner are sometimes likely to have a negative belief,” he said. “The problem for me goes back to she was never able to pinpoint why those beliefs and those issues were abnormally high with her.”
Councilor Colin Van Ostern, a Concord Democrat, said Carbon’s critics are “pretty far outside the mainstream.” He defended her qualifications to become a full-time judge.
“The reality is that someone who served with such distinction as she has in both state and federal roles, with the office of the Violence Against Women down in Washington, D.C., the fact is that it’s unfortunate that that is sometimes a controversial issue,” Van Ostern said. “But there are some sectors of our society that believe we shouldn’t be doing all we can to protect women against violence, frankly.”
The Executive Council also unanimously approved Hassan’s nomination of Martin Honigberg as a commissioner for the Public Utilities Commission. Honigberg is a Concord resident and former senior assistant attorney general who now runs the Sulloway & Hollis law firm’s government relations group. He will serve a six-year term on the PUC, which oversees public utilities.