SB 136 – FINAL VERSION
SENATE BILL 136
This bill clarifies the attorney general’s authority to appoint, organize, and assign investigatory personnel at the department of justice.
This bill is a request of the department of justice.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seven
AN ACT relative to the attorney general’s authority to appoint, organize, and assign investigatory personnel at the department of justice.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
235:1 Findings and Policy. The general court finds that the attorney general is obligated to investigate certain ethics, pubic integrity, election, consumer protection, environmental, charitable, criminal law, and such other matters that are assigned by law to the department of justice. Furthermore, the prosecution of administrative cases and the defense of civil claims against the state and state officials often require that the attorney general conduct civil investigations. The investigators, financial analysts, and investigatory paralegals that the attorney general has been authorized to employ are now assigned by law to specific bureaus and functions within the department of justice. The general court finds therefore that it is in the interest of the state, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, that the attorney general be authorized to organize and assign such investigatory personnel in the manner the attorney general deems most effective and efficient. The general court further finds that the investigators employed by the attorney general who routinely conduct criminal investigations are police officers for the purposes of the requirements for certification by the police standards and training council.
235:2 Criminal Justice Investigators. Amend RSA 21-M:3, VII to read as follows:
VII. The attorney general may nominate, subject to confirmation by the governor and council, criminal justice investigators and consumer protection investigators within the limits of the appropriations made for the appointments, each of whom shall have statewide law enforcement authority, shall be a peace officer as defined by RSA 594:1, III, and shall serve for a 5-year term. Any person nominated for such a position shall be certified or eligible for certification as a police officer pursuant to RSA 188-F:26. A criminal justice investigator or a consumer protection investigator shall be removed if he or she fails to achieve certification or if he or she is decertified by the police standards and training council, otherwise a criminal justice investigator or a consumer protection investigator may be removed only as provided by RSA 4:1.
235:3 New Sections; Department of Justice; Investigatory Resources. Amend RSA 21-M by inserting after section 3 the following new sections:
21-M:3-a Authority to Organize and Assign Investigatory Resources. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the attorney general is authorized to organize and assign the criminal justice investigators, consumer protection investigators, financial analysts, investigatory paralegals, and such other investigators that the department of justice is authorized to employ in the manner that the attorney general deems most effective and efficient for fulfilling all the duties assigned to the department of justice. The attorney general may assign leadership or supervisory duties relative to any or all investigatory personnel to any unclassified investigator on a temporary or permanent basis.
21-M:3-b Law Enforcement Officers Assigned to the Attorney General. The attorney general, as the chief law enforcement officer for the state, shall have authority to vest with statewide law enforcement authority any municipal or state law enforcement officer assigned by the employing authority to work under the guidance and direction of the attorney general for the purpose of conducting or assisting with criminal law investigations being conducted by the attorney general’s office, including, but not limited to, service on the attorney general’s drug task force. The grant of authority shall be valid only for the duration of the officer’s assignment to the department of justice. Any law enforcement officer vested with statewide law enforcement authority pursuant to this section shall be a state official for the purposes of being entitled to defense and indemnification under RSA 99-D:2, in accordance with the terms of any written agreement between the attorney general and the employing authority and subject to any limitations set forth in such written agreement.
I. The criminal justice investigators and consumer protection investigators employed by the department of justice on January 1, 2007, are hereby certified as full-time police officers and shall comply with the provisions of RSA 188-F and the administrative rules of the police standards and training council, including those relative to continuing education and maintaining certification in accordance with the requirements and standards imposed on a police officer who achieved full-time certification on the date of the investigator’s first employment with the attorney general’s office.
II. The attorney general shall cause the notices of appointment for all investigators then employed by the department of justice to be submitted to the police standards and training council within 30 days of the effective date of this act.
235:5 Limitation to Group I Retirement. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, time worked as an investigator employed by the attorney general pursuant to RSA 21-M:3, VII, shall not be considered in any calculation of group II retirement benefits for which the investigator may otherwise be eligible.
235:6 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
Approved: June 25, 2007
Effective: August 24, 2007