Lynch, councilors 'prank' Ayotte on April 1 vote

Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, of Nashua, got a second four-year term but first had to pay the price of an April Fools’ Day vote Wednesday.

The Executive Council endorsed Ayotte, 5-0, but only after they had first taken the same tally to oppose her confirmation.

Moments later, councilors admitted their first vote was an attempt at April 1 humor and they immediately took the second one for Ayotte, 40, to remain on the job.

Clearly, Gov. John Lynch and the councilors had discussed the prank idea prior to the meeting.

“I was about to leave,” Ayotte joked to reporters.

A Republican, Ayotte has enjoyed a good working relationship with Lynch, the three-term Democrat who twice has named her to the job.

Ayotte first became attorney general when former Gov. Craig Benson asked for and got her predecessor, Peter Heed, to resign in 2005 due to his after-hours behavior while at an anti-domestic violence conference in Bretton Woods.

Ayotte said her two priorities are to come up with a strategy to reduce the abuse of legal prescription drugs, especially among young people, and to give municipal officials more training on the Right-to-Know Law.

Lynch and Ayotte worked for three years to strengthen state laws cracking down on child sex offenders.