Dem. Gov. Candidate Jackie Cilley: Where does GOP stand on former Romney aide resignation amid allegations of academic fraud?
Cilley, Adjunct Professor at UNH and former state senator, calls on her GOP opponents to make clear their ties with House Majortity Leader DJ Bettencourt
(Barrington, NH) In the wake of revelations that DJ Bettencourt, NH House Majority Leader and former special aide to Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, deceived the public about graduating from law school and about an internship credit, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jackie Cilley demands to know where GOP candidates Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith stand.
Bettencourt, the highest-ranking elected official to endorse Mitt Romney in New Hampshire's crucial first-in-the-nation primary, announced his resignation this week prior to these allegations being made public.
“I call upon the GOP and their Gubernatorial candidates to let us know whether they continue to stand with DJ Bettencourt and the House leadership,” said Jackie Cilley, Democratic candidate governor. “Ovide and Kevin have repeatedly said they stand with Speaker Bill O’Brien and his out-of-touch agenda. Now that they can see the full level of his unethical and immoral behavior, what will they say? If they can’t denounce him now then they should reconsider running for our highest office.”
Cilley, a former state senator and a long-term adjunct faculty at UNH's Whittemore School of Business and Economics, added “As a long-standing member of the UNH community who has always demanded honesty and integrity from my own students,” stated Cilley, “I hope the UNH Law School will get to the bottom of this quickly and take appropriate actions, including expulsion if these allegations prove true. The reputation of our University System should be protected against such corrupt political influences.”
Critics have attacked Bettencourt and Speaker Bill O’Brien for a poisoned climate in Concord and driving an extremist agenda closely tied to national right-wing interests and the Tea Party. Bettencourt has also drawn criticism for calling New Hampshire's Catholic bishop a "pedophile pimp" and for exaggerated mileage reimbursements. This week, in what appears to have been an effort to shield Bettencourt from disclosure of his law school status, O’Brien announced that Bettencourt would be leaving the House to take, the New Hampshire Legal Rights Foundation.
GOP majority leader, DJ Bettencourt, has acknowledged falsifying an internship with attorney and House colleague Rep. Brandon Giuda. Bettencourt needed the credits from the internship to graduate from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. On Saturday, May 19, Bettencourt marched with his class, but according to his statements to the press, “held an empty tube” because even with the falsified internship he did not have enough credits to graduate. Despite that, he posted to his Facebook page that he had, indeed, graduated, prompting Giuda to contact the Law School to inquire about the internship status.
ABOUT JACKIE: Jackie Cilley, who served in both New Hampshire's House and Senate representing Barrington, built a successful business and taught more than 2500 New Hampshire students over her 20 years as a highly respected business professor with UNH's Whittemore School for Business and Economics. A Berlin native, Sen. Cilley earned a BA in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from the Whittemore School. Jackie and her husband Bruce have lived in Barrington for more than 20 years. They have five sons, 12 grandchildren, and two dogs.