TITLE I
THE STATE AND ITS GOVERNMENT

CHAPTER 21-M
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Section 21-M:3

    21-M:3 Attorney General; Deputy; Associates; Assistants. –
I. The attorney general shall be appointed as provided by the constitution. He shall serve for a term of 4 years. He shall have been admitted to the practice of law in New Hampshire. He shall also be qualified by reason of education and experience.
II. The attorney general shall nominate the deputy attorney general for appointment by the governor, with the consent of the council. The deputy attorney general shall serve for a term to expire on March 31, 1987, and thereafter for a fixed term of 4 years. The deputy attorney general shall have been admitted to the practice of law in New Hampshire and be qualified by reason of education and experience.
III. (a) The attorney general, subject to the approval of the governor and council, may appoint assistant attorneys general within the limits of the appropriation made for the appointments, each of whom shall hold office for a term of 5 years. Any vacancy in such office may be filled for the unexpired term. An assistant attorney general may be removed only as provided by RSA 4:1.
(b) The attorney general may, in his or her discretion, designate to serve without compensation, current assistant United States Attorneys, with prior authorization from the United States Attorney, or assistant county attorneys, with prior authorization from the county attorney, to assist with state cases.
IV. The attorney general may designate senior assistant attorneys general. Senior assistant attorneys general may serve as bureau chiefs and in such other positions as the attorney general may determine. Senior assistants shall serve in that capacity at the pleasure of the attorney general. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the positions in this section shall be funded within appropriations made to the department of justice for each biennium and through the salary adjustment fund, as needed.
V. The attorney general may designate associate attorneys general. Associate attorneys general may serve as directors of the divisions of public protection and legal counsel and shall serve in that capacity at the pleasure of the attorney general.
VI. The attorney general shall nominate, subject to confirmation by the governor and council, an unclassified director of administration for the office of attorney general, within the limits of the appropriation made for the appointment, who shall serve for a 5-year term. The director of administration may be removed only as provided by RSA 4:1.
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 106-L:5, V. 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.
VIII. The attorney general shall appoint qualified applicants to serve as a hearing officer for appeals to any of the councils established under RSA 21-O. The attorney general and the commissioner of the department of environmental services may enter into a memorandum of understanding to transfer funds sufficient to fund the hearing officer position and related expenses. Such individual or individuals shall:
(a) Be qualified by education and experience in the conduct of administrative adjudicative hearings and the application of law to facts; and
(b) Be fully screened by the attorney general from the outset of any such appeal from any attorney representing the department.
IX. When designated as the hearing officer for a particular appeal, the hearing officer shall:
(a) Regulate all procedural aspects of a proceeding, including presiding over the hearing and any prehearing conferences;
(b) Subject to RSA 21-O:14, at the first prehearing conference order the parties and any persons who have been allowed to intervene to participate in mediation if the hearing officer concludes that it is reasonably possible that mediation will result in the resolution of the issues in dispute in the proceeding. No order to mediate shall stay the appeal proceeding;
(c) Adopt all findings of fact made by the council except to the extent any such finding is without evidentiary support in the record;
(d) Deliberate with the council before reaching conclusions on mixed questions of law and fact;
(e) Decide all questions of law presented during the pendency of the appeal; and
(f) Prepare and issue written decisions on all motions and on the merits of the appeal within 100 days of the conclusion of the hearing on the merits. The hearing officer shall provide the council with a proposed written decision on the merits within 45 days of the conclusion of the hearing on the merits. If requested to do so by the members of the council participating in the discussion, the hearing officer shall meet with those members within the 100 day period to discuss the decision.
X. The hearing officer may issue a subpoena, upon the request of any party to an appeal filed after the effective date of this paragraph, and only to the extent the information or testimony sought is reasonably necessary for the determination of matters within the council's jurisdiction. A subpoena may be requested for purposes of discovery as may be allowed by the council's rules or to provide testimony at any hearing conducted in the proceeding, or both. All costs associated with the issuance of any subpoena issued by the hearing officer shall be paid by the party requesting the subpoena.
XI. The attorney general, subject to the approval of the governor and council, may appoint a director of the office of victim/witness assistance, within the limits of the appropriation made for the appointment, who shall hold office for a term of 5 years. Any vacancy in such office may be filled for the unexpired term. The director of the office of victim/witness assistance may be removed only as provided by RSA 4:1.
XII. The attorney general, subject to the approval of the governor and council, may appoint a director of communications within the limits of the appropriation made for the appointment, who shall hold office for a term of 5 years. Any vacancy in such office may be filled for the unexpired term. The director of communications may be removed only as provided by RSA 4:1.

[Paragraph XIII effective July 1, 2023.]


XIII. The attorney general, subject to the approval of the governor and council, may appoint a permanent director of diversity and community outreach, within the limits of the appropriation made for the appointment, who shall hold office for a term of 5 years. Any vacancy in such position may be filled for the unexpired term. The director of diversity and community outreach may be removed only as provided by RSA 4:1.

Source. 1985, 300:1; 410:12, 13. 1986, 135:5. 1990, 266:4. 2001, 158:104. 2002, 276:3. 2007, 235:2. 2009, 40:1. 2010, 354:1, eff. Sept. 18, 2010. 2012, 246:1, 16, eff. June 18, 2012. 2017, 206:5, eff. Sept. 8, 2017. 2019, 202:4, eff. Sept. 8, 2019; 346:166, eff. July 1, 2019. 2021, 91:159, eff. July 1, 2023.