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February 15, 2013

Former Salem official led double life

BRENTWOOD — Former state representative and Salem town official Ronald “Tony” Giordano has led what some would call a double life.

He has rubbed elbows with New Hampshire’s top leaders as a member of the Legislature and led Salem’s Zoning Board of Adjustment. But today, he’s sitting in a county jail cell.

Giordano, 54, was sentenced to a year in jail on drug charges after pleading guilty in Rockingham Superior Court yesterday to selling the painkiller Oxycodone.

If Giordano violates his probation once he is released next year, he could serve the maximum 20 years in state prison, Judge N. William Delker said. He also received a suspended five- to 10-year prison sentence.

Delker said he hoped his sentence would put Giordano back on the “very productive and promising path” he was on.

“Sadly, you have seemed to have stepped off that path and committed some serious crimes here,” Delker said.

Giordano, dressed in a white short-sleeve shirt, tie and black pants, did not speak in court other than respond to Delker’s questions. But he did give a letter to the judge. The letter was not read in court.

Giordano was arrested Dec. 30, 2011, after selling 139 Oxycodone pills to a Salem police informant on three occasions. He was the focus of a monthlong investigation by police, who said they found more than 100 pills while searching his home on Lois Lane.

Girodano was released on $10,000 cash bail and resigned from the zoning board within days of his arrest. But it wasn’t until December 2012 that he decided to plead guilty as part of a plea agreement — shortly before his trial was to begin Jan. 7.

Giordano refused to comment on the plea deal at the time, referring all questions to his attorney, Thomas Torrisi.

Torrisi said Giordano intended to admit his mistake and take responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty.

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