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home : news : regional April 16, 2014

Ethics panel offers 'letter of caution' to Bragdon

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire's Legislative Ethics Committee is offering former Senate President Peter Bragdon a letter of caution as a way to resolve complaints about possible conflicts of interest in his taking a $180,000 job with a quasi-government organization.

The panel sent Bragdon a letter Monday seeking his consent to informally resolving two outstanding complaints by accepting the letter. The panel dismissed three other complaints, including that he used his position to get the high-paying job.

In the letter, committee Chairman Martin Gross outlines steps Bragdon must agree to take to avoid a formal hearing. The letter stipulates that Bragdon must not participate in legislative or regulatory activities affecting his employer, the Health Trust.

Bragdon has already said he would recuse himself. Bragdon said Monday he had not had time to discuss the letter with his attorney. He has until Friday to respond.

Last week, the panel voted unanimously to ask Bragdon to agree to informally resolve two complaints as inadvertent violations of ethics rules: that he knew legislative issues would come up affecting his new job at the Local Government Center and that his salary was related to his position and therefore a gift prohibited under ethics rules.

The Milford Republican took the job with the LGC in August and stepped down as Senate president in September after continued criticism from Democrats about potential conflicts of interest. He kept his Senate seat.

The panel dismissed complaints that Bragdon used his position as Senate president to get the job, knew he was being recruited to use his influence on legislation and used his position to enhance prospects he would be hired through an appointment made as Senate president.

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