The last time I saw Paul Hodes in person was about ten years ago at a parole hearing for Rosie McNamara, “Tax Collector” from Ashland, NH, who misappropriated over $2 million dollars from tax payers in that town. Auditors gave up looking for more theft at the $2 million or so amount.
Rosie and her lawyer, Hodes, were in pleading at that hearing with the Parole Board for an early release from her measly two year sentence. (Early release, sound familiar?)
Hodes had found a way to help his client, Rosie, plead guilty to stealing only $112,000.00 of the $2 million and serve only eight months.
To make a long story short, here are some facts:
Rosie misappropriated, or rather stole, over $2 million dollars from Ashland taxpayers.
Rosie agreed to pay back some of the money at $25.00 per week because she was now destitute and working a low wage job.
I went to her parole hearing and waited three hours to speak. When my chance came I suggested Rosie should have spent 20 YEARS in prison because the real dollar figure was over $2 million and that she be required to detail in writing exactly how she manipulated town records to do so so that taxpayers could use that information to protect themselves from thieving public officials in other towns.
I was told by one member of the three-member NH Parole Board that my comments were
”outside the scope of the hearing.”
Now for the inside info:
1. All three members of the NH Parole Board at that time were appointed by Jeanne Shaheen.
2. Hodes worked for the Shaheen Law Firm while he was representing the subject of the largest theft of municipal funds by a town official I know of.
3. The Ashland Selectmen were promised by Attorney General Phil McLaughlin, appointed by Shaheen and who prosecuted the case, that Rosie would spend two years in jail - not eight months.
Now for some questions:
1. If Rosie McNamara was so destitute as to have to pay Ashland back $25.00 per week to cover some of the $112,000.00 she admitted she stole – how could she afford to pay Attorney Paul Hodes of the then governor’s husband’s law firm? What, no public defender?
2. What would she pay Hodes with?
3. If there was ever a case for a conflict of interest in representing a criminal in a case of municipal theft in NH, shouldn’t Rosie be represented by some other lawyer?
This begs the question:
When Paul Hodes is down in Washington – who is he really representing?