Emails obtained by the Republican State Committee via a Right to Know Request seem to indicate that the fix was in for Dartmouth Hitchcock Health to get a thirty seven million dollar contract from the state to manage New Hampshire Hospital, the state’s mental health facility. The emails contained several communications between state and Dartmouth officials about the wording of a request for proposals to manage the facility. Critics of the recently awarded contract, including several high level administrators and caregivers at the state facility, have charged the process was rigged to exclude all other potential bidders.
In response to the information received, state G O P Chair Jennifer Horn announced that she will file a complaint with the state’s Executive Branch Ethics Committee and ask them to investigate what she called, quote, “the growing pay-to-play scandal engulfing the Hassan administration.” In making her announcement, Horn referenced stories published yesterday by the Union Leader and the Nashua Telegraph, which used the information she provided from the documents obtained showing collusion between the state and Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
Horn said Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers deliberately lied about the matter when asked about it by District Three Executive Councilor Chris Sununu at the Executive Council meeting where the Dartmouth-Hitchcock contract was debated. Horn also said the Dartmouth-Hitchcock collusion joins a growing list of pay-to-play scandals, including the controversy surrounding Centene, and Fedcap’s use of a defunct New Hampshire organization as a front to hide the fact that contracts were being awarded to an out-of-state conglomerate. Horn said her ethics complaints would involve all of these.
Horn renewed her criticism of Governor Margaret Wood Hassan for rewarding her campaign donors with big state contracts as pay to play scheme saying, quote:
“The news today that state employees blatantly colluded with Dartmouth-Hitchcock crosses the line from unethical to blatantly illegal. It is absolutely astounding that the governor’s hand-picked DHHS commissioner would blatantly lie to the Executive Council as they debated the Dartmouth-Hitchcock contract, saying that there wasn’t any collusion when we now find out that there was. And when reporters tried to get to the bottom of the situation by filing Right-To-Know requests, the response was heavily redacted, with 80 full pages completely blacked out. Employees are even resigning hours after Right-To-Know requests are filed, as David Folks did last month. This is a cover-up on a grand scale, and Governor Hassan should be ashamed.”
Twenty Three year old Billy Damuel Maldonado Cancel, was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in New Britain, Connecticut on Friday morning. Maldonado Cancel was wanted on an outstanding Manchester Police Department arrest warrant charging him with 2nd degree murder.
On September 14th, Maldonado Cancel allegedly shot and killed twenty five year old Jonathan Vasquez-Ojeda at the intersection of Merrimack and Beech streets. Shortly after the issuance of the arrest warrant for Maldonado Cancel, the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force was requested to assist in the investigation along with several other agencies.
Maldonado Cancel has been charged as a fugitive from justice by the New Britain Police Department and is currently being held in custody pending his eventual return to New Hampshire.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Auburn Police Commission will meet tomorrow night at seven in the Auburn Safety Complex. On the agenda is a review and discussion of proposed two thousand seventeen budget figures. The public is welcome to attend.
The Auburn Board of Selectmen will meet tonight at Town Hall starting at seven. On the agenda are proposed budgets for some town operations, including next year’s Parks and Recreation budget, the Animal Control Officer, Health and Social Service Agencies and Intergovernmental Welfare. There’s also a bunch of stuff regarding Hooksett Road, the sale of the old fire station, and the town’s annual audit.
The Derry Town Council will meet tomorrow night at seven thirty in the Council Chambers of the Derry Municipal Center. Among the items of interest are contracts for both their police patrolman’s and supervisor’s unions. We’d like to tell you the proposed terms, but they’re not included with the agenda. We’ve sent an inquiry requesting them.
The Manchester School Board’s Subcommittee on Finance will meet tonight in City Hall starting at six. Among the agenda items is a review of the district’s financial filings with the state which disclose just how much money is spent by the district. There’s more than an eight hundred fifty thousand dollar variance between projected and actual revenues, meaning the taxpayers are likely to pick up the difference. Driving the shortfall is an unexpected reduction in state adequacy aid of more than five hundred fifty thousand dollars and fewer tuition students than expected.
That’s news from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!