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Sununu's Choice for Attorney General Defended Opioid Maker Against State Probe

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Nixon Peabody
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Gov. Chris Sununu has nominated Gordon MacDonald, a well-known Manchester attorney, to serve as Attorney General. MacDonald's clients include a major opioid maker being investigated by the state.

Since August 2015, five drug makers have resisted a state subpoena from the current Attorney General. That subpoena aims to determine if the companies illegally marketed opioid painkillers. That case has gone through numerous appeals.

Gordon MacDonald has represented one of the biggest companies in question, Purdue Pharma, creator of the drug OxyContin.

MacDonald will need approval from the Executive Council to become the Attorney General. Democratic Councilor Andru Volinsky has been critical of Governor Sununu. But he says MacDonald is a highly ethical lawyer who should recuse himself from the probe into the drug makers.

"I don't necessarily like the pharmaceutical company's position but other than the need for recusal I don't hold that against Mr. MacDonald," says Volinsky.

Governor Sununu's spokesperson says MacDonald, "has every intention of upholding the integrity of the Attorney General's office by recusing himself when necessary." 

Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.

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