Tom Velardi’s appointment to attorney general’s office approved

'Seemed the time was right to make the move,' says Strafford County Attorney Velardi about his new position
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Longtime Strafford County Attorney Tom Velardi was confirmed Wednesday to a leadership position in the New Hampshire attorney general’s office.

The state Executive Council — a five-member body that must approve state appointments and contracts — voted to approve Velardi’s appointment to lead the attorney general’s Public Protection Bureau on a 3-2 vote, with councilors Cinde Warmington, Theodore Gatsas and Janet Stevens voting in the affirmative and Councilors Joseph Kenney and David Wheeler voting against.

The vote came during a meeting held in Dover, the city where Velardi’s work in the county is based, on the Rotary Arts Pavilion stage.

“All spoke in favor of me and my qualifications,” said Velardi. “The two who voted in opposition said they wanted more time to discuss it.”

Velardi has been chosen by Attorney General John Formella to lead the Public Protection Bureau, which includes the homicide division, the public integrity unit and the Medicare fraud unit.

The vote to approve Velardi came after an initial vote by the council to table voting on his appointment until a future meeting. The council then reversed itself after discussion.

Velardi said on Monday that he would begin his new job Oct. 6 for a term ending Dec. 29, 2026. He would be paid a $125,000 annual salary, according to a letter from Formella to Gov. Chris Sununu and the Executive Council.

Velardi said he will recommend Deputy Strafford County Attorney Emily Garod to take his place as interim county attorney.

With the appointment of Velardi, a special election will be held Sept. 24 by the Stafford County delegation to New Hampshire’s House of Representatives. The delegation will select a replacement to serve out the remainder of Velardi’s term, which concludes in 2024. The position will be on the ballot for voters in November 2024.

“They recruited me, and it is not the first time,” said Velardi, who said he has worked in the county attorney’s office for 24 years. “This time, it seemed the time was right to make the move. My department is in good shape. We have good people here to take over.”

Velardi was named deputy county attorney in 2003 by then-County Attorney Janice Rundles. He was named interim county attorney on Jan. 2, 2008, and elected to his position first in 2008 and then seven more times, most recently in 2022.

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Categories: Law