CONCORD – Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald on Tuesday cleared state Senator and Congressional candidate Andy Sanborn of allegations that a Senate intern received a job and cash in exchange for silence about an inappropriate comment Sanborn made to the intern in 2013.
MacDonald said in a news release that his office found the Bedford Republican had made the comment to the intern, but no credible evidence linking the comment to the part-time job in the Senate clerk’s office and cash the intern received later. MacDonald didn’t include the actual comment made by Sanborn in the release.
“The conclusion of the criminal investigation that there is no credible evidence to substantiate these allegations is outlined in the attached letter sent to New Hampshire State Senate President Charles Morse today,” according to the release.
Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley questioned why it took five years for the matter to become public.
“Today the Attorney General confirmed that Senator Sanborn made inappropriate comments to an intern in 2013 and that the same intern received an envelope full of cash afterward,” Buckley said in a news release. “It’s disturbing that this is only coming out now, five years after the incident.”
Sanborn did not respond to calls to his office and home seeking comment.
“Whatever absurd coincidence Senator Sanborn claims about this cash payment is beside the point: Granite Staters deserved to know the facts much earlier, but we are still being kept in the dark about exactly the nature of the comments,” Buckley said.
Sanborn publicly stated in the past that it involved a crass joke.
“Granite Staters need to ask themselves: is this the inappropriate behavior and lack of transparency that is worthy of a promotion? If not, New Hampshire’s First Congressional District voters should reject Sanborn’s bid for Congress. Until then, we want answers,” Buckley said.
In the letter to Morse, Senior Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward said the investigation found that Sanborn had made the inappropriate comment in February 2013, and the intern later received a part-time job in the Senate Clerk’s office. The probe also found that Sanborn’s chief of staff Jay Flanders gave the intern an envelope containing cash, but found no evidence linking Sanborn’s comment to the later job or the cash, which was said to be no more than $200.
“Accordingly because there is no credible evidence of a connection between the inappropriate comment made by Senator Sanborn to the intern and the later job and cash provided to the intern, there is no evidence here that any crimes were committed,” Ward wrote.