EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

March 21, 2013

Sununu cleared by AG's office

Democrats question decision

Executive Councilor Christopher Sununu has come under fire from the New Hampshire Democratic Party, questioning why he was cleared of an accusation he tried to influence a judge.

Attorney General Michael Delaney recently concluded that Sununu did nothing wrong when he sent a letter of support to Judge Michael Sullivan of the 10th Circuit Court in Salem.

The letter was sent in January on behalf of friend Patrick McDougall, the day before the former Salem official was being sentenced for obstruction of government administration.

Sullivan became angry during the sentencing. Letters of support can be sent to attorneys involved in a criminal case, but not the judge.

Now, state Democratic Party officials are also angry and have filed Right-to-Know law requests with Sununu, a Republican, and Delaney, asking for all documents involved in the case.

“Councilor Sununu needs to come clean about how and why he attempted to influence the criminal sentencing of one of his Republican political allies,” Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley said yesterday.

“His troubling behavior raises serious questions about his ability to serve in public office and that is why we filed this Right-to-Know request,” he said.

Delaney, who announced Tuesday he is stepping down as attorney general, issued a letter March 1, saying his office determined Sununu had done nothing wrong. Copies of the letter were sent to Sununu and Salem police Chief Paul Donovan.

“Based on our review of the facts and circumstances of this matter, there is no basis to conclude that Councilor Sununu violated any provisions of the criminal code,” Delaney wrote. “Thus, we will be taking no further action.”

Delaney has not returned calls seeking comment on the case.

But Sununu said he complied with the request yesterday, sending the Democratic Party copies of Delaney’s letter and the letter he wrote on behalf McDougall, which asked the judge to consider his friend’s community service record when sentencing him.

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