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Governor Snubs Labor Leaders for Reappointment to Appeals Board

Friday, September 8, 2017 | 470 | 0 | 0 min read

Gov. Chris Sununu will not reappoint two of New Hampshire’s most well-known labor leaders to the Compensation Appeals Board.

Mark MacKenzie

Mark MacKenzie

Former AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie and former State Employees Association Executive Director Denis Parker had served on the board for 20 years and 16 years, respectively, NH Primary Source reported.

The board has 33 members equally divided among representatives of labor, employers or insurers, and 11 neutral attorneys. Three-member hearing panels are drawn to hear and decide appeals of workers’ compensations decisions issued by hearing officers.

The Republican governor’s labor commissioner, former state GOP Vice Chairman Ken Merrifield, had recommended MacKenzie and Parker for reappointment, noting that they had served professionally and without any complaints.

Sununu spokesman Benjamin Vihstadt told NH Primary Source that the governor was sent to Concord “to shake up the status quo and challenge the old way of doing things.”

MacKenzie has hired an attorney to challenge the governor’s action, the news organization reported.

“Experience matters when you are deliberating as a semi-judicial body on a very narrow section of the law,” MacKenzie told NH Primary Source. “Experience is a big deal in workers’ compensation cases. It is a very specialized area of the law.”

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