Ethics investigation into New Hampshire Democrat House majority leader continues

By Sarah Downey | The Center Square

The state Legislature’s Ethics Committee continues to investigate a complaint against House Majority Leader Doug Ley.

The allegation brought against Ley earlier this year centers on charges of conflict of interest due to Ley’s position as president of the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.

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New Hampshire Statehouse in Concord

The complaint was brought by Christopher Mazerall, a Republican opponent against Ley in the 2018 election and asks the ethics committee to look at whether Ley was in violation of House rules by taking part in government matters that directly affect his employer.

The complaint references the ethics committee’s past action on a similar case and cites an advisory opinion that was issued for a Republican lawmaker who asked whether he could seek employment with an outside organization that works on education policy.

The ethics committee has met several times over the last few months, most recently last week.

“I think we all hope that it won’t require several more meetings because we know people have to be anxious about the outcome and we want to resolve the matter as quickly as we can,” Ethics Committee Chairman Ned Gordon told New Hampshire Public Radio. “But at the same time, you want to be fair and make sure that everyone feels they’ve been properly heard.”

As previously reported by NHPR, Ley’s roles as lawmaker and union leader have often overlapped, including his backing of or opposition to bills that his union is for or against. He has also been the author of the union’s “legislative bulletins,” which rallied union members to lobby their elected representatives on the union’s behalf.

Both Ley and Mazerall have presented their side to the ethics committee, which is continuing its investigation, Gordon said. At this point, it could choose to dismiss the complaint, proceed to a more conventional hearing, or move it to another type of resolution.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/© Jared C. Benedict and Public domain