Republican U.S. Sens. John Sununu and Judd Gregg and Republican State Congressmen, Jeb Bradley and Charles Bass for the resignation of Executive Councilor Ray Burton after he admitted to retaining a staffer who he knew had numerous prior convictions for child molestation.
In the latest allegations, a 14-year-old boy had reported being approached by a man who offered him beer and cigarettes. Seidensticker was arrested and charged with offering alcohol and tobacco to a minor after police found beer, blankets, rope, tape and sexual aids in his car.
State Sen. John Gallus, a Republican from Berlin, said it was suspicious that calls for Burton's resignation "came in the dark of night and all at the same moment."
"Someone was lining things up," Gallus said. "No one in the North Country is calling for his resignation, though ... A mistake doesn't wipe out 30 years of experience and the good he's done."
Critics say employing Seidensticker was more than a temporary lapse, however.
"For 13 years nearly half of his tenure on the council he knowingly allowed a man convicted of a violent sexual assault against a boy to travel with him all over the North Country," the Union Leader said in a recent editorial. "Despite knowing that the man had three times been arrested for failing to register as a sex offender, Burton continued to provide him with credibility and contacts."
Governor Lynch Weights in:
"Yes, he's been a strong advocate for the North Country," Lynch said, the Caledonian Record reported. "However, I stand with Senators (Judd) Gregg and (John) Sununu that Burton broke the public trust hiring a known sex offender. Look at what almost happened in Concord. What if he (Mark Seidensticker) had gotten that boy in his car? We have to protect our kids."
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