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Giuda: Bettencourt Reports 'Scary'

Brandon Giuda hopes this ordeal will be to D.J. Bettencourt's long-term benefit.

The Chichester Republican who confronted former House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt about falsified "externship" reports to the UNH School of Law has no regrets about his own handling of the situation.

Rep. Brandon Giuda, a lawyer, businessman and attendee of the U.S. Naval Academy with 29 years of military service, told Patch Wednesday he instead feels sadness for Bettencourt, whom Giuda hopes will come out of the experience a better man.

after Giuda said Bettencourt, R-Salem, submitted bogus reports to the law school detailing 11 weeks of work at Giuda's solo law office that never actually happened.

WMUR reported Bettencourt's resignation letter was read to the House Wednesday, in which he admitted to an "inexcusable lapse in judgment and integrity."

Giuda said Bettencourt originally approached him in February about completing an "externship," which is akin to an internship, needed for his graduation. Giuda was at first hesitant given his solo practice, but eventually agreed.

According to Giuda, Bettencourt drafted a contract regarding the externship but Giuda asked it be reworked as the original language was "ambiguous." Giuda eventually signed the contract when he felt comfortable with the language.

Giuda said the agreement was for Bettencourt to work from 1 to 5 p.m. each Friday. After not showing up the first two weeks, Giuda said Bettencourt did come the third week.

"I got him here for two-and-a-half hours," Giuda said. "He was supposed to be here for four hours, but then his phone was ringing and he had to go."

Giuda gave Bettencourt credit for one hour of work, as they spent the other 90 minutes discussing legislative matters. That was the only time Giuda said Bettencourt worked for him.

"I didn't hear from him again," Giuda said. "We're busy over there in the Legislature and I'd assumed that he'd gone to the school, like he should have, and said, 'Look, I just can't do this. I'm not going to be able to graduate, we'll have to extend it a semester or something.'"

In addition to his work in the Legislature and the law practice, Giuda said he operates two food service businesses with his wife and works in construction.

"I'm not going to babysit anybody," Giuda said.

He added he did not have contact with anyone from the UNH School of Law during that time.

On May 19, Giuda was on Facebook and saw photos of Bettencourt in a cap and gown along with a proclamation that he was graduating from law school.

"Right then, I knew," Giuda said.

Giuda got in touch with officials at the law school and requested a look at the reports Bettencourt had submitted regarding the externship. He was told Bettencourt's reports were confidential, but the school said they would ask Bettencourt to release the reports to Giuda.

Shortly thereafter, Giuda said Bettencourt contacted him. When Giuda explained why he wanted to see the reports, Bettencourt apologized and agreed to provide them.

"He said to me, 'You can't tell the law school,'" Giuda said. "He said, 'I'll do anything. I will work for you for free for six months.'" 

Giuda was shocked by what he saw in the reports.

"There were 11 reports filed," Giuda said. "The detail in the reports is scary, and none of it is true. He details court hearings, he details clients, he details everything."

From there, Giuda requested a meeting with House Speaker William O'Brien, R-Mont Vernon. He told the speaker last Friday he wanted Bettencourt to resign immediately and state it was due to "personal problems." In addition, he wanted Bettencourt to offer a "complete and open confession" to the law school regarding his conduct.

"It was important to me D.J. not try to spin this, as he likes to do," Giuda said. "I thought it was really important we try to keep the caucus together because this is such an important week."

Giuda said he does not believe O'Brien or anyone other than Bettencourt had prior knowledge about the false reports.

According to Giuda, however, Bettencourt did not "comply with his side of the deal." , citing his new job with the New Hampshire Legal Rights Foundation and his family.

Giuda said that once the press became aware of the law school issue and questions started being asked on Saturday, he was not satisfied with Bettencourt's explanation that he'd contacted the law school because of a "dispute" over the externship.

"A dispute means there is a question," Giuda said. "There's no question. You lied, I don't."

He gave Bettencourt an ultimatum: resign immediately, or the false reports would become public.

"This is a major problem, not an innocuous lie," Giuda said. "This is a premeditated, fraudulent act over 11 weeks. The first thing is you have to admit it. He still hadn't done that."

Giuda issued the ultimatum both because he hoped "it would force (Bettencourt) to reflect upon his life and move forward in a positive manner" and the need to move on with legislative business this week.

Giuda said Bettencourt still had a couple of reports to be filed and once all the reports were filed, his understanding is the school would have contacted him to review the reports.

"If that's the case, then I have no idea (why he would do this)," Giuda said.

Giuda has no regrets about how he handled the situation. Where he feels regret is for Bettencourt.

"I hope this is a strong enough kick in the gut for this kid that he realizes he cannot go through life deceiving people and have a sense of honor," Giuda said.

In the halls of Concord this week, Giuda said most people who've approached him have told him he did the right thing.

Giuda does not believe Bettencourt's situation is a reflection of House Republicans. It is instead a reflection on an individual, he said.

"I pray that at some point in the future (Bettencourt) looks back and realizes I did him a favor," Giuda said.

Bettencourt did not respond to a request for comment on this story Wednesday.

Rusty May 31, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Really LJ, why are you calling me names simply because we disagree? Get your band of vigilantes together and good luck.
Patriot May 31, 2012 at 02:43 PM
OK, Oedipus you have me! Opps, where was your guy Obama and Clinton?
Patriot May 31, 2012 at 02:47 PM
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/clinton/etc/draftletter.html A little history that you may include with your condemnation of Romney.
Russ Richardson May 31, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Donna Sytek "He's not even 30 yet," she said. "He still has time to rehabilitate his image." This quote is from a previous article but is germane to the subject. No Donna he needs to rehabilitate his ethical standards and character. Giuda is hoping that this experience will be the impetus for this young man. He will have to work very hard to overcome this, and if he is sincere about it, he will be a much better person for it.
Patriot May 31, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I wonder if he was born in Kenya? At least he released his school record.
Patriot May 31, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Commander-In-Chief Apologizes For Gaffe During Ceremony To Honor War Hero http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/05/30/president-obama-infuriates-poles-with-use-of-phrase-polish-death-camp/ * Clean your own house before you become a critic
L J May 31, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Really Krusty, why not post on substance as I DO. until then, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
L J May 31, 2012 at 03:34 PM
I could not BELIEVE this woman allowed that to be a public comment. Outrageous and thanks for pointing it out here....
L J May 31, 2012 at 03:36 PM
His phrase was accurate actually if you care to be honest. SOME poles took exception so he clarified it. THERE was NO OUTRAGE, just an inflammatory headline that if you read the article you realize.
patchy_the_pirate May 31, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Oepidus, don't forget Romney's five healthy who were qualified to serve their country but were too busy racing yachts.
patchy_the_pirate May 31, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Patriot and other clueless conservatives have nothing at this point. They live in the RW bubble of lies, desperation, and old 2008 material.
Zeke June 01, 2012 at 03:11 AM
“If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.” Alan Simpson. "Character is what we do when we think no one is looking." Jackson Browne. Mr. Bettencourt cannot rehabilitate his reputation no matter what he does as he has shown that he lacks integrity and he is a man of questionable ethics and character.
Patriot June 01, 2012 at 09:27 AM
It has been so nice to read the comment from democrats. Such hypocrites!
Patriot June 01, 2012 at 09:35 AM
The democrats have taken all the meat off this bone and continue to beat anyone with an R next to their name. So I will continue to attack the vultures with memories of their own failings. * Edwards said he did not believe he did anything "illegal" but acknowledged the affair he conducted while his wife, Elizabeth, was dying of cancer was "awful" and "wrong."
Oedipus June 01, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Yep, you're right Patriot. Still doesn't change the facts about DJ though
Oedipus June 01, 2012 at 12:38 PM
"Democrats are such hypocrites!!!!!" You spot it, you got it Patriot.
Patriot June 01, 2012 at 01:54 PM
I will have no problem taking someone to the wood shed. It does not matter what team you play for if it is a good play I will clap, bad and I will boo!
Patriot June 01, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Democratic speaker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NJREx_X1KY
Patriot June 01, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Speaker Says She Won't Ask Eaton To Resign http://www.youtube.com /watch?v=9NJREx_X1KY&feature=related * Democrats are such hypocrites!!!!!
Patriot June 01, 2012 at 02:10 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NJREx_X1KY
Zeke June 01, 2012 at 03:15 PM
There were accusations in the Eaton case - there was no finding of any evidence of wrong doing - Patriot, not sure if you are suggesting that everyone who is accused of anything should be required to resign. Certainly very different from Mr. Bettencourt who has admitted fabricating very detailed reports about work he never did and meetings and court hearings that never occurred. And he did this in his academic career to attain a Law degree. (And I think Edwards is a low life as is Gingrich in how they treated their ill wives while married and having an affair)
Matt Lulling June 01, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I'm glad this rat got caught.
Patriot June 01, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Zeke, the speaker is not a judge nor does he work for the college. Mr. Bettencourt is an elected official and until he resigns from that he will remain a member of the General Court. What the college does to (what he has admitted to) Mr. Bettencourtisup to them. Until a court of law passes judgement we are left to a gossip corner. Any member who has input or influence with regards to a state agency that is investigating a complaint against them should remove him/herself from a position that could impede a true investigation. IMO Mr.Eaton was part of leadership and the legislature has a great deal of influence.
20yearnavyvet June 01, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Yes, because that "military background" was so apparent with the last guy, right? Oh, and then there's the five dererments for Cheney. And let's not forget what that military background and military heroism produced during the last general election in the way of "It's All About Me Palin" courtesy of "I'm No Maverick" McCain. The military background is great, personal integrity is even better.
L J June 01, 2012 at 08:11 PM
"Until a court of law passes judgement we are left to a gossip corner. " [Comment on DaJerk Bettencourt] So DB NONPatriot, Gossip is when one ADMITS doing it??? Medication time?
Lisa Gale June 01, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Thank you for the name and address. It is one thing for a student to cheat and lie, yet another for a university to overlook or dismiss such behavior. Mr. Bettencourt has, by his actions, brought question to folks that are trying to get their law degree at UNH. Let's hope that the university takes swift and decisive action to restore its credibility as well as those of its students.
Patriot June 01, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Lefty Jerk, all except your post they should be categorized and indexed for Posterity sake. Take the lead from Teddy, just walk away!
Rusty June 02, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Those if you who know politics have to know that the real story has yet to be told.
viking1 June 03, 2012 at 11:43 AM
He is the poster child of the Republican party in NH. They have been lying and misleading the great citizens of the granite state. November can not come fast enough.
MJ June 03, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Rep. Giuda didn't destroy Bettencourt's whole life. BETTENCOURT destroyed his life. He attempted to obtain a law degree through FRAUD. FYI- the NH Bar Assn. would never allow this guy to pass the bar. You are placing blame on the wrong person, absolutely. And as an aside, this Bettencourt guy is a pretty dim lightbulb. Even if the guy is by nature kind of a weasel, he should have realized how easily his fraud could have been found out. Would you want your surgeon operating on you when he hadn't completed his requirements for med school?

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