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House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli, D Portmouth, and Brunelle's two private attorneys insist the constitutional clause does not prevent lawmakers from holding political jobs.
Phil Greazzo leveled the constitutional claim against Brunelle, and Mirski said Brunelle "cannot serve two masters."
Brunelle lawyer Paul Twomey said this was written in 1792 to prevent lawyer/legislators from representing themselves before the General Court that in post Colonial times was often an appellate court to hear property disputes.
Enfield Republican Rep. Paul Mirski canceled plans for a Thursday public hearing before the House Legislative Administration Committee Nike Roshe Run Men Red on the charges against House Democratic Floor Leader Michael Brunelle of Manchester.
The relevant section in the Constitution states in part no member of the Legislature "shall take fees, be of counsel, or act as an advocate in any cause" that comes before lawmakers.
House panel leader won't hold hearing
Former Democratic Party Chairman Kathy Sullivan called on House leaders to drop the inquiry altogether.
Instead, the panel will hear Jan. 27 from constitutional experts on the Nike Roshe Suede Womens
Last week, Manchester Republican Rep. Nike Roshe Boys
"I am happy to see they have changed course," Norelli said after the move to delay this proceeding. "I am sure they will find out in the end it is far more complicated than they thought and not warranted."
"It has become abundantly clear that Speaker O'Brien and his leadership now recognize that the reckless political vendetta they embarked on against Rep. Michael Brunelle was a mistake, both under the law and as a political strategy,'' Sullivan said. "Rather than admit their mistake, however, they are now going to engage in a charade to make it look like they care about the meaning of the New Hampshire Constitution.''
If applied unilaterally, Norelli said this would decimate the volunteer Legislature, which has the lowest pay in the nation for lawmakers: $100 a year plus mileage and free trips through turnpike tollbooths.
"This is a totally wrong way to deal with this. The committee shouldn't be in this position," Twomey said. Legal experts say there is no record of any legislator being expelled or forced to quit based on this section of the Constitution.
Legislative Ethics Committee Chairman Martin Gross wrote in a Concord Monitor op ed Tuesday that Greazzo should have brought the matter to his panel.
"Until we learn what we are doing here, it would be foolish for us to go any further," Mirski added.
"I don't like the idea of doing this in a circus atmosphere. I think it is serious enough for the Legislature as a whole to slow it down," said Mirski, who chairs the Legislative Administration Committee.
House Speaker Bill O'Brien, R Mont Vernon, agrees with the delay, Mirski said.
meaning of Part 2, Article 7 of the New Hampshire Constitution, which House Republicans cited in calling for Brunelle's resignation.
CONCORD A House committee leader slammed the brakes Tuesday on a move to force the third ranking House Democrat to quit due to his full time job as executive director of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
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