Last week, the Department of Employment Security Commissioner resigned and Deputy Commissioner was suspended following allegations that they improperly hired and fired family members.
On behalf of “enraged representatives and their constituents,” House Speaker Bill O’Brien pounced. In a letter to all state commissioners and deputy commissioners, O’Brien demanded they notify the House if they have family members working for them.
“The recent incidents of nepotism validate the underlying belief of many that government is corrupt and geared toward enriching those who hold power. The furtherance of this presumption through the acts of high-ranking state leaders is corrosive to public confidence and is something that we all have a vested interest in eliminating as quickly and thoroughly as possible.”
GOP Rep. Steve Vaillancourt pointed out that before O’Brien tries to ride herd on the state agencies, he should get “his own House in order.”
We may not know how many employees are on the payroll in agencies, but we know for a fact that O’Brien has one employee under his very nose who is there due to nepotism.
Shannon Bettencourt, who according to House records is paid $45,458.27 a year as House media relations and constituent service specialist, is not only the wife of disgraced former Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt, of Salem, she is also pregnant with DJ’s child.
You better believe there’s nepotism in New Hampshire state government, and it begins right in Speaker O’Brien’s office.