NH Attorney General nominee Gordon MacDonald at his public hearing in front of the Executive Council, on March 28, 2017

Apr 4, 2017 4:44 PM

Tomorrow: Expect unanimous confirmation of Sununu's attorney general nominee

NH1.COM

CONCORD – It appears all five members of New Hampshire’s Executive Council will vote to confirm state attorney general nominee Gordon MacDonald.

A vote on MacDonald’s nomination is expected to be one of the first items on the agenda when the council meets on Wednesday morning.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu nominated MacDonald last month. And last week the council held a public hearing on well-known Manchester lawyer’s nomination to lead the state’s department of justice.

On Tuesday afternoon, Democratic council member Andru Volinsky of Concord for the first time said publicly he would support the confirmation, telling NH1 News "Mr. MacDonald is a very experienced and ethical attorney that I expect to take a non-political approach to the attorney general’s office and I support him in that way."

Hours earlier, the other Democrat on the council, Chris Pappas of Manchester, tweeted “Tomorrow, I will vote to confirm Gordon MacDonald as AG. I believe he'll serve with integrity, independence like AGs Souter, Rudman, Foster.”

The three Republicans on the council are expected to vote to confirm MacDonald.

MacDonald’s a partner at the firm Nixon Peabody. He works out of the Manchester office as a key member of the firm’s commercial litigation practice group.

One of MacDonald's clients is Purdue Pharma, known for making the drug OxyContin. Purdue is one of five drug makers that for a year and a half have repeatedly resisted a state subpoena which seeks to determine if the companies illegally marketed opioid painkillers.

The over prescription of opioids is considered a major factor in the state's drug crisis.

At the hearing MacDonald said “the Department of Justice has a recusal policy and I will comply with the recusal policy.”

“I’ve identified cases in which recusal will be required if I am confirmed,” he added.

MacDonald also said at the hearing that he would bring a “full focus, a fresh set of eyes, and a fresh set of ears” to the battle against New Hampshire’s heroin and opioid epidemic.

If confirmed, MacDonald will succeed out-going Attorney General Joe Foster, whose term expires at the end of March. Foster, a former Democratic state senator, was nominated by then-governor and now U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, Sununu’s Democratic predecessor in the Corner Office.

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