Cornerstone-Action Asks Executive Branch Ethics Committee to Review Hildreth Conduct

May 17, 2010

Questions Raised by Hildreth’s Family Ties to FRM & Dubious Recusal Must be Addressed

For Immediate Release
May 17, 2010
Contact: Kevin Smith
Phone: (603) 571-4710
Email: director@nhcornerstone.org

CONCORD, NH – Cornerstone-Action today formally requested that the Executive Branch Ethics Committee review Banking Commissioner Peter Hildreth’s handling of the Financial Resource Mortgage (FRM) scandal. Recent media reports have raised serious ethical questions about Commissioner Hildreth’s conduct due to his dubious recusal from the FRM investigation and his brother’s financial ties to the failed company.

“The FRM scandal has shattered public confidence in state government and Commissioner Hildreth’s conduct has raised serious ethical questions that must be addressed. It is extremely important for the Executive Branch Ethics Committee to review Commissioner Hildreth’s handling of the FRM investigation and his brother’s financial ties to the company to see if any ethical guidelines have been violated,” said Cornerstone Executive Director Kevin Smith.

According to a report in the Union Leader (5/17/2010), Commissioner Hildreth’s brother Jon was initially an investor in the alleged FRM Ponzi scheme. While many investors lost millions of dollars in the massive fraud, Jon Hildreth was able to reclaim his entire investment before the company failed in 2009.

Mr. Hildreth was first made aware of an alleged “Ponzi scheme” involving FRM in March, 2000 while serving as Director of the Bureau of Securities. He has repeatedly claimed that he removed himself from all matters regarding FRM, but a report released last week by Attorney General Michael Delaney failed to uncover any documentation of Commissioner Hildreth’s recusal.

Governor Lynch proposed the creation of an ethics commission to investigate the executive branch during his 2004 gubernatorial campaign. In 2006, he signed legislation establishing the Executive Branch Ethics Committee, claiming that it would ensure “the highest codes of conduct for public officials.”

“During his 2004 campaign for governor, John Lynch pledged to restore integrity to the corner office by establishing the Executive Branch Ethics Committee. Now that his administration has been saddled by a series of ethics scandals, it’s time for the Governor to support an investigation by the Committee into the ethically questionable behavior of some of his senior officials,” said Smith.

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CPR-Action is the legislative advocacy arm of Cornerstone Policy Research.

Cornerstone Policy Research is a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of strong families, limited government and free markets.

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