Former US Attorney becomes NH city interim solicitor following AG investigation into office
Written by Brooke Coupal on .
MANCHESTER — Former United States Attorney for the District of New Hampshire will take over as Manchester's interim solicitor after an investigation revealed the office's mishandling of domestic violence cases.
Emily Gray Rice started the position Monday after gaining the approval of the Board of Aldermen. She will replace Tom Clark, current city solicitor, who announced his retirement a day after the Attorney General's Office reported their findings for an investigation into the Solicitor's Office Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit. Clark is set to retire July 31.
"Given the circumstances within the City Solicitor's Office, and the timelines set forth by the Attorney General's Office with regards to the Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit, it is imperative that we place the necessary leadership within the office immediately," said Mayor Ted Gatsas.
Rice plans on reviewing all domestic violence cases — including the 66 dismissed by Manchester City Solicitor Domestic Violence Prosecutor Andrea Muller, which posed "several significant concerns" for the Attorney General's office. The city sent out 45 certified letters last week to those with domestic violence cases and that were within the statute of limitations informing them that their cases would be refiled.
"I want to promise the citizens of Manchester that we are going to handle our domestic violence docket in a victim-centered and trauma-informed manner, and you can absolutely count on that," Rice said.
Rice resigned from U.S. Attorney for the District of N.H. in March.
She chose to take on the role of interim solicitor in Manchester based on three criteria: job had to be hard, interesting and impactful. She expressed her gratitude for being chosen during a press conference Monday afternoon and added that she is excited to make an impact on the city.
As interim solicitor, Rice's duties will include administrative authority of a city department head, responsibility for day-to-day office operations, overall management of the Office of the City Solicitor and oversight of personnel. Gatsas no longer has administrative authority over the office now that Rice has been appointed.