NHDP - House GOP Culture of Corruption: With Bettencourt's Resignation, O'Brien Should Come Clean About His Role

Lamontagne, Smith, Romney Campaign Should Condemn Efforts to Allegedly Falsified his Law School Records, Apparent Cover Up Effort


CONCORD - With Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt's resignation from the House in light of the revelation the he may have falsified documentation regarding his law school record, Speaker Bill O'Brien should come clean about his role in the alleged cover-up.


In addition, Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith should condemn this action to mislead the people of New Hampshire and abuse of power, and Mitt Romney should remove Bettencourt as his delegate to the Republican National Convention.


Yesterday, as the Union Leader and Concord Monitor reported, Rep. Bob Guida - a Republican lawyer at whose law firm DJ Bettencourt was supposedly interning - came forward and revealed that Bettencourt had admitted to writing false reports detailing an internship that never happened.  According to Guida, "Bettencourt only showed up at his office for one day, 'where he did approximately one hour of legal work.'  The Union Leader also reports that DJ, in fact, did not graduate from law school earlier this month.


Guida said he confronted Bettencourt, in a meeting with Speaker O'Brien. After the meeting, Guida said, he expected Bettencourt to resign saying he need to address personal problems. Instead, it was announced late Friday that Bettencourt would resign on June 6th to take on the role of Executive Director at the New Hampshire Legal Rights Foundation - a group created by Speaker O'Brien - which, he said, involved a potential for conflict with his role as a member of the House. No mention was made of his falsification of academic information.  While reports say that DJ did not actually graduate, his biography on the O'Brien-founded New Hampshire Legal Rights Foundation's website calls him a graduate of UNH law school.


"Speaker Bill O'Brien has created a culture of corruption in Concord on an unprecedented level. Bill O'Brien, DJ Bettencourt and the Republican majority in the legislature have continually acted as if the rules and basic ethics do not apply to them," said Raymond Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. "Even as Bettencourt resigns for misrepresenting law school records, we are still waiting answers from the Speaker's office about his former chief of staff charging taxpayers mileage for conducting Republican candidate recruiting trips.


"It is time for Bill O'Brien to come clean about his apparent role in attempting to cover up this latest scandal, and mislead people about Bettencourt's resignation and law school graduation," Buckley said.


Republican leaders, including gubernatorial candidates Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith, have mostly applauded O'Brien and Bettencourt, even as they have run roughshod over tradition and House rules.


"It's time for the Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith to condemn Bettencourt's actions, and the questionable leadership of Bill O'Brien," Buckley said. "They should not stay silent and endorse this behavior. They should join our call for a full explanation not just of Bettencourt's actions, but of Speaker O'Brien's."