Sununu Pushes To Fast-Track Appointment Of Edwards To State Licensure Role

Apr 6, 2020

Eddie Edwards at an NHPR candidate forum in the run-up to the 2018 election.
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Sununu is asking the Executive Council to waive a public hearing for Eddie Edwards to serve as the director of the state’s Office of Professional Licensure and Certification.

Edwards, who ran for congress as a Republican in 2018, was nominated earlier this month.

Sununu is requesting the confirmation be fast-tracked so that Lindsey Courtney, who has been serving as interim executive director, can return to her full-time position overseeing public health licensing.

“Ms. Courtney has performed admirably in her interim role,” wrote Sununu in a letter to the five-member Executive Council, “but her critical position in the Division of Health Professionals needs her full time attention.”

The OPLC oversees approximately 40 different professional licensing groups in the state. 

Along with law enforcement posts, Edwards previously worked for the New Hampshire Liquor Commission. In 2013, he alleged he was the target of racial discrimination. He ultimately received a settlement of $160,000 in that case.

In 2018, he lost to Democrat Chris Pappas in the race for the state’s First Congressional District.

At least one member of the Executive Council opposes the fast-tracked confirmation of Edwards. 

In a statement, Democrat Andru Volisnky said that he is “gravely concerned about his lack of qualifications to direct the agency responsible for licensing and overseeing all of our health professionals…now more than ever, we need to ensure we have an experienced, qualified nominee to lead this department in a time of crisis.”

The Executive Council is scheduled to meet Wednesday using teleconference.

(This post has been updated.)