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Double Standards

At a time when our nation is reevaluating its policy towards guns and reconsidering who can own them, it seems incredible that the New Hampshire Supreme Court Complaint Screening Committee, a committee of the attorney discipline system, is turning a blind eye to a grievance filed against former Senior Assistant Attorney General Janice Rundles.

While still in office and in the midst of prosecuting the case against Jesse Brooks, then Assistant Attorney General Janice Rundles' son Clark Stevens was arrested on February 17, 2008 for assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. Then on December 8, 2013, police were called to Janice Rundles’ house in Lee, NH where Clark’s sister Maria Jasiek told police that her brother had pulled a handgun from his waist, waived it at her, her boyfriend Michael Sauve and another friend and had pointed it at her boyfriend’s head and throat. The boyfriend and her 28-year-old brother, who still had the gun in his hand, were wrestling on the floor she said. According to Rundles’ statement to police, Clark had gone to her house at Rundles’ request to check to see if his sister was there with her boyfriend and Rundles asked Clark to make sure that the boyfriend left. Rundles also told police that Clark called her the evening of December 8th, and while she was trying to ensure the boyfriend was leaving, she overheard her daughter yelling and Clark telling his sister, “you saw him tackle me.” Rundles told the police that after talking to her son, she considered calling police, “because I thought they were all drunk and of course they were driving away from my house drunk, um but I didn’t.” Rundles told police that the following day she spoke with Clark again and he told her he had brought a loaded gun and “put it um somewhere, not carrying it out, you know in his hand but put it somewhere” which implies she was aware he had the gun concealed.

His sister, who told police her brother grabbed her by the throat during the confrontation, also described her brother to police as being too unstable to own a firearm. “I’m concerned for my brother’s safety and mental well-being and I believe he should not be allowed to own a deadly weapon. His reaction was extremely concerning to me and my friends,” she said in her statement.

A potentially lethal situation unfolded in her home and Janice Rundles did not appear to uphold her sworn duties and – by her own admission - failed to call the police. Five weeks after the incident, Rundles was interviewed at the Sheriff’s Office. Clark Stevens whose apartment was searched, marijuana and 16 guns were seized and who, according to police, does not have a concealed weapons permit, pleaded guilty and received a 30 day suspended sentence with two years of good behavior.

The incident did sever relations between Maria and her mother Janice Rundles and brother Clark Stevens as Maria told police on February 4, 2014 she had had no contact with either of them since the incident, which meant she did not see either over Christmas or New Years.

A complaint was filed with the Attorney Discipline Office of the New Hampshire Supreme Court on August 3, 2015, but the committee refused to send it onto a hearing panel, as it was decided that “a hearing panel would not likely find clear and convincing evidence that Ms. Rundles violated the Rules of Professional Conduct.” The Complaint Screening Committee was asked to reconsider its decision on October 13, 2015, but the committee upheld its original decision choosing not to send on the complaint to the hearing panel, without any additional explanation offered in the first letter.

It is disappointing, to say the least, and even perplexing, that former senior assistant attorney general acted with so little regard for public safety when it came to her handling of her son’s criminal case. And confounding that the New Hampshire Supreme Court Complaint Screening Committee failed to see that this was an issue worth investigating. Janice Rundles moved to the Michigan County Prosecutor’s Office but is back at the NH Attorney General’s Office again.

02/17/08 Clark Stevens: Assaulting an Officer, Resisting Arrest (Click here)

12/08/13 Clark Stevens: Reckless Conduct, Criminal Threatening,

Use of Deadly Weapon, Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia.

Carroll County Investigation (Click here)

08/03/15 Attorney Discipline Complaint Filed (Click here)

08/18/15 Attorney Discipline Complaint DENIED (Click here)

08/26/15 Attorney Discipline Request for Reconsideration (Click here)

08/28/15 Attorney Discipline Complaint Screening Consideration (Click here)

10/13/15 Attorney Discipline Complaint FINAL - DENIED (Click here)

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