EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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December 1, 2012

Former N.H. lawmaker apologizes publicly

SALEM – A fallen Republican legislative star is apologizing and requesting forgiveness.

D.J. Bettencourt, who resigned his House seat earlier this year amid a scandal over misrepresentation of work while pursuing a law degree, apologized to “citizens of Salem and Windham” in a letter sent to The Eagle-Tribune.

“Words are inadequate to articulate my disappointment; therefore I will simply say I am sorry,” Bettencourt wrote.

Bettencourt, 28, was the youngest person ever elected as majority leader of the House two years ago.

He publicly admitted misrepresenting work he had done at a legislative colleague’s law practice while pursuing a degree from the University of New Hampshire law school.

“While some will always celebrate my lapse in judgment, I humbly pray for an open mind as I work to rebuild faith and earn forgiveness from those who blessed me with their trust and friendship,” Bettencourt wrote.

He said he is focusing on being a good husband and father.

His wife, Shannon, was a top aide to Speaker William O’Brien.

“In addition to these personal joys and my professional endeavors, I will begin a journey of dedicated public service and volunteerism to fully account for my errors and channel my disappointment in a positive way that continues serving New Hampshire,” Bettencourt wrote.

“I plan on dedicating myself to increasing access to justice and assisting disadvantaged children and veterans,” he wrote. “This humbling journey will last for the rest of my life and will cultivate increased magnanimity and personal growth.” On Friday, Bettencourt said he would not comment beyond the letter.

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