Supreme Court Justice Recuses Self from AG Cases Due To Husband’s Paid Leave

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Courtesy photo

Associate Justice Anna Barbara Hantz Marconi is pictured after being sworn in by Gov. Chris Sununu in 2017.

GENO MARCONI Courtesy photo


CONCORD – New Hampshire Supreme Court Associate Justice Anna Barbara Hantz Marconi has recused herself from 90 cases and will evaluate whether to recuse herself from another 225 pending cases – all involving the Attorney General’s Office, court spokesman Av Harris confirmed Thursday.

Hantz Marconi’s husband, Geno Marconi, was placed on paid leave last month from his longtime post as director of the New Hampshire Division of Ports and Harbors, but the Pease Development Authority has provided no explanation why that action was taken or how long it will last.

Harris said the court normally doesn’t disclose the bases for recusals from cases, but Hantz Marconi did so in this case.

“Justice Hantz Marconi discloses that it is her understanding that the Office of the Attorney General is advising the Pease Development Authority with respect to her spouse’s work at the Division of Ports and Harbors,” Harris said.

A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office did not respond to questions about Geno Marconi.

Paul Brean, the executive director of the Pease Development Authority, released a statement last month confirming the fact that Geno Marconi was on paid leave, but no further information has been made public.

“Director Marconi is on paid administrative leave for an undetermined period of time.  Because of the confidentiality requirements of New Hampshire personnel laws, we cannot comment any further at this time,” Brean said.

According to its website, “The Division of Ports and Harbors maintains and develops New Hampshire’s vital waterways to help support and grow commerce including freight shipments through the state’s ports and the Piscataqua River and Portsmouth Harbor. We also assist in the development of salt water fisheries and related industries.”

Harris said recusal, or disqualification is governed by the New Hampshire Code of Judicial Conduct. The Supreme Court also has a long-standing disqualification policy.

“…(T)he Clerk of the Supreme Court has notified the parties in cases involving the Office of the Attorney General from which Justice Anna Barbara Hantz Marconi has disqualified herself.  In those cases, the notification has been provided via an order, an oral argument list, an update to the docket card, or a combination of these methods,” Harris said.

Because Chief Justice Gordon MacDonald was appointed to the high court in 2021 from his position as attorney general, there are cases in which he also sometimes recuses himself.

The other three are Associate Justice Melissa Countway, who joined the court in January, Senior Associate Justice James Bassett who joined in 2012 and Associate Justice Patrick Donovan who joined in 2018.

Hantz Marconi was confirmed to the state Supreme Court in 2017 by the Executive Council and sworn in by Gov. Chris Sununu on Aug. 8, 2017, the third woman to sit on the Supreme Court.

Hantz Marconi joined the court from private practice as a shareholder with the Manchester law firm of Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green where her work included appellate litigation, business litigation, land use, mediation, probate and family law.

She graduated with honors from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in Political Science and received her Juris Doctorate from The Chicago Kent College of Law.

Correction: An earlier version said Justice Hantz Marconi has recused herself from all cases involving the Attorney General’s Office, but a court spokesman said her recusal decisions are being done on a rolling basis.

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