Running forHillsborough County Attorney
as a candidate of theDemocratic Party
Prior political experience/officesHillsborough County Attorney, 2019-2020
Appointed to Goffstown Planning Board, 2014-2015
Elected to Goffstown Planning Board, 2015-2018
Current jobIncumbent Hillsborough County Attorney
Time lived in NH2014
EducationBS in Computer Science, Northeastern University, Boston MA
JD from Suffolk University Law School, Evening Program, Boston MA
Best way to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If elected or re-elected, please describe any innovations, reforms or improvements you seek to introduce to your office.
1) After taking office in 2019 I dug in and developed a four-year plan to bring critically needed resources to the office. After securing the largest budget increase in the past decade, and in line with my plan, I went forward putting those resources to work for the county. We went from having the worst caseload per prosecutor in the state to being second worse. Progress has been made but there’s more work to do, which I am ready and able to do, with the focus on bringing resources and support to the team at the office.
2) The Attorney General’s office came here to help address the systemic issues identified when he took office in April 2017. This was well before my time. Ultimately the Attorney General approved my draft policies and procedures, with enhancements. By working collaboratively with the Attorney General’s office, we have continued that work to further refine and implement necessary changes needed.
3) I’ve also started developing a bias training program with the team and look forward to collaborating with the Attorney General’s office to help provide that programming state-wide for all county attorney offices.
4) Bail reform continues to be an issue for law enforcement and I provided testimony to the bail commission in Concord to ensure that the safety of our communities and crime victims are important considerations in our laws.
What are the most important concerns facing you’ve heard from Manchester residents and how can you address those concerns if elected or re-elected?
Manchester residents expect a county attorney’s office that is led by someone with integrity and who can provide stability and leadership while working with our law enforcement agencies to deliver results. After a few months of working through the office’s issues early last year I was asked to resign by the Attorney General. By then I already had a strong understanding of what the office needed to move forward. I knew it needed a leader that was dedicated to supporting the team and an advocate for solutions. There was no true decision to make. As your elected official I swore an oath to serve and by working together we have collaborated to make progress and deliver improvements to communication and workload issues. Then COVID hit and the office needed to continue its operations as an essential office. Considering this, I advocated for the staff to work remotely in order to ensure safety against this unknown, invisible threat.
If re-elected I will continue to be dedicated to the County Attorney’s Office, advocate for continued improvements, implement that progress, and continue delivering results for the residents and victims of crime in Manchester.
How does your background (excluding time serving in the position you are seeking) qualify you for the position you are seeking?
My background shows a skilled professional with progressive experience growing into positions of leadership. It shows a diversity of industries, stepping into tough situations, and successfully bringing about positive change. That’s what I have done over the past two years as the Hillsborough County Attorney and that is what is still needed to fix the systemic issues identified by both myself and the Attorney General’s office.
At the TD Garden I reported progress to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, delivered training programs to senior executives and front-line workers, helped managers navigate day-to-day operational challenges, and worked events to make live observations. This has translated into the meetings and updates with the Attorney General’s Office, developing training on new initiatives and issues with my office and other agencies, working with the team on their day-to-day challenges in cases, and attending court sessions to supervise and provide feedback to prosecutors, victim advocates, and the media on sensitive cases.
In your view, describe the political atmosphere in New Hampshire over the last two years. Do you believe this will have any impact on your position?
Over the last two years I have seen people of New Hampshire engaged and focused on doing what they can to improve their community and listen to the issues going on around them. I believe the people of New Hampshire will continue to be attentive, engaged, and supportive of people who they know are dedicated to their work and community. I try not to predict the future but to respond appropriately and adapt as needed to continue making progress for all and helping those in need.
How is county government unique from municipal or state government in New Hampshire? Do you believe it is necessary?
County government helps provide consistent services to our cities and towns while providing the opportunity for individual counties to move forward on initiatives for further growth and development. We see this in counties that have robust pre-trial services, drug court, and other initiatives whereas some counties have no such services or programs. An important role for state government is to set the minimum standard that the counties implement. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true and if the state government defunds certain services, then it falls to the county or municipal government to step up with funding to provide that service. County government is a critical component of those two polar extremes that helps provide services to towns that could be difficult to afford, but for the broad coverage provided by our county government. I would have very serious concerns if county government was not here to help ensure a broader geography of essential services, such as supporting victims of felony crimes, was being equally provided to our larger cities as well as our smaller towns. The jail, nursing home, sheriff, and UNH cooperative extension all help balance out services to municipalities that are not provided by the state.
Do you believe that COVID-19 will impact county government in the future?
COVID has already impacted county government and will continue to do so. The County Attorney’s Office is an essential service that has not closed for a single day since COVID. Each of the county departments have absorbed the issues created by COVID in unique ways. When the pandemic came to New Hampshire I was in Alabama with the Secret Service in a training program about digital forensics, also known as cybercrime. I flew back as safely as possible, self-quarantined, and advocated for my office to work remotely with a small crew at the front desk and phones. As County Attorney I am responsible for over 60 employees with offices in our two largest cities. When COVID issues arose I was the person who went into the office to sanitize and help provide a safe environment for our employees to do their work. The impact to county revenue is a concern that will hopefully be resolved before the next budget cycle in the spring. If re-elected, I intend to continue to move forward on ensuring the office is properly resourced to bring the caseloads down. My first priority is to ensure that our essential service is provided in a safe manner but the office’s issues remain and my solution is the Plan I developed during my term as County Attorney.
What were the biggest issues faced by the person serving in the role you are seeking over the past two years? How did they, or how did you, deal with those issues?
The biggest issue faced in this role was the negligent management by my predecessor over so many years. This led to the office being under-resourced and as a result created systemic issues that brought the office to the “brink of collapse”. That is why I dug in and did the research to develop my four-year Plan within the first three months of office to provide a roadmap of how the office could recover over time in order to minimize any impact to the taxpayers. In my first term I have delivered on those results by bringing the largest budget increase in the past decade but the mission is not yet complete and has been delayed by COVID and the time it took to work with the Attorney General’s Office. Despite those delays, I have successfully collaborated with the Attorney General’s Office and have kept the office operating through COVID in order to provide support to our local law enforcement, to victims of crime, and to the dedicated professionals that are working hard every day for the people of Hillsborough County. These are serious, life-altering issues and the people of Manchester deserve a County Attorney that has proven to them that they won’t give up in the face of adversity. The Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office deserves a leader that will enable them to focus on the cases and do their job quickly, competently, and thoroughly. There is a lot more work to do, I have delivered results already, and I would be honored to continue to deliver for the people of Manchester on November 3rd if you vote for Michael Conlon for Hillsborough County Attorney.