BREAKING: Bragdon to step down as N.H. Senate president amid controversy over LGC job
Senate President Peter Bragdon spoke to the editorial board on Thursday, April 28, 2011.
(Neil Blake/Monitor Staff)
Peter Bragdon will step down as president of the state Senate, he announced today, just three days after he was hired as the new executive director of the Local Government Center.
Bragdon, a Milford Republican, will retain his Senate seat.
His hiring at the Concord-based LGC, which is locked in a long-running battle with state regulators, was announced Tuesday morning. Democrats, state regulators and some Republicans were instantly critical of the move, calling it a serious potential conflict of interest.
“Though I initially presumed that any potential conflicts I might face due to my employment would be similar to those of any other senator or representative, given New Hampshire’s volunteer Legislature, I have come to see the merit in arguments that the position of Senate president presents many greater challenges,” Bragdon said in a news release shortly before noon. “Though I have promised to recuse myself from even the most seemingly mundane administrative tasks if a conflict arose, I do realize the perception of impropriety could still exist and could tarnish the reputation of the Senate.”
Bragdon said he’ll call the Senate into session sometime shortly after Labor Day so he can step down as president and allow the Senate, which has a 13-11 Republican majority, to elect a new president.
“While I do not want this issue to linger any longer than necessary, I also believe it is important to give all 24 senators a fair opportunity to attend this session if they want to,” he said in the statement. “Assuming I can reach all the senators reasonably quickly, I hope to announce a date for a senate session by the end of next week.”
For complete coverage of this story, see tomorrow’s Monitor.
(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)