Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Make a year-end gift to NHPR!

Cleared of domestic violence charge, N.H. deputy insurance commissioner will resume work

DJ Bettencourt
NH Insurance department

Deputy Insurance Commissioner D.J. Bettencourt will be back on the job Thursday, according to an agency spokesman, after prosecutors decided to drop a domestic violence charge filed against him last month.

Bettencourt had been on paid leave as the state’s No. 2 insurance regulator following his arrest in May.

In a joint statement issued Wednesday, Bettencourt and his wife said they were “relieved that the legal process is concluded, along with the ugly politics that permeated this unfortunate incident.”

“While we engaged in an argument that escalated beyond anything that either of us finds acceptable and is a thoroughly embarrassing experience, this incident was never domestic violence,” they wrote. “It was a terrible misunderstanding.”

Prosecutors dropped the charge against Bettencourt on the day before a scheduled hearing where, according to court paperwork, his lawyer planned to ask a judge to disqualify his wife as a witness because she’d given conflicting information to authorities and could be open to possible perjury charges, if she were to testify.

In their joint statement, Bettencourt and his wife said they “deeply regret the incident and have both learned a critical lesson in communication, calm and trust.”

Before joining the Insurance Department in 2020, Bettencourt was a top aide to Gov. Chris Sununu. He’s also a member of Salem’s budget committee and charter commission.

Bettencourt also served in the Legislature. He resigned from his post as House Majority Leader in 2012 after falsifying records about coursework at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.