Flanders named to panel
Governor taps Antrim man for judicial oversight post
Governor Maggie Hassan has appointed longtime Antrim resident and former New Hampshire State Senator Bob Flanders to the Alternate Panel of the New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee, to begin work on July 1, 2015.
Flanders was not expecting the appointment, he said in an interview Wednesday. In 2000, Flanders was elected to the Senate and served during the same time as Hassan. He said that he and Hassan sponsored some bills together while they were both senators, including one about bicycle helmet safety, which now requires children under the age of 16 to wear a helmet when biking.
Flanders served in the Senate for three terms, until 2006, and also served as the Deputy Majority Leader, serving as Chairman of the Banks and Insurance Committees, as well as Vice Chairman of the Internal Affairs Committee and a member of the Transportation Committee.
The Judicial Conduct Committee reviews and investigates complaints about the behavior of judges, not about their court rulings, Flanders said. The state has a code of conduct for judges that lists what standards judges must uphold, and if a judge acts against an established code, then the committee will address it. The complaints the committee investigates usually come from written complaints from citizens about something a judge did or said, or something questionable in a judge’s personal life.
“I’m looking forward to it and I’m very interested in it,” Flanders said of his new position.
Flanders said he is responsible and accountable individual, and his standards for judges are equal to the code of conduct the committee follows. The reason for having the Judicial Conduct Committee in place is because “judges have to hold over and above positions,” he said.
Before his retirement, Flanders spent 40 years in the insurance industry, working with AIG claim service. Flanders moved to Antrim in 1960, following his three-year service in the U.S. Army. Once established in town, Flanders served on the Antrim Select Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, the ConVal School Board and as the town’s moderator for 41 years, from 1971 until 2012, he said. He was also a member of the Antrim Republican Club and the Hillsborough County Republican Committee.
He also functioned as the charter president of the Antrim-Bennington Lions Club, the president of the Antrim Chamber of Commerce, the charter president of the Antrim Historical Society and as the secretary of the Maplewood Cemetery Association, according to a press release issued by Hassan’s office. Although Flanders is not an Antrim native, he did attend public schools in Henniker and Weare and attended New England College.
The committee has not been busy, according to Flanders. Since his appointment, he said, he attended a meeting in Concord to meet the committee members and has a conference call scheduled for this week. All the hearings will be held in Concord, he added. Flanders will replace former committee member, Timothy Russell, whose appointment expires this July. He will serve this part-time position on the Judicial Conduct Committee from July 1 until his term ends sometime in 2015.