Attorney Ryan Russman: “If Michael Jordan becomes a free agent, will you take a step? Of course.”
PORTSMOUTH – Criminal defense attorney Ryan Russman has hired displaced Rockingham County attorney’s former assistant Jerome Blanchard to work for his firm, which has offices in Portsmouth and Exeter.
“He’s an excellent trial attorney,” said Russman. “If Michael Jordan becomes a free agent, will you take a step? Of course.”
Blanchard was fired by District Attorney Patricia Conway in November, the first day she called for work. Blanchard, who has served in the prosecution since 2000, told Conway it was in the county’s best interests, but he declined to comment. Conway has also refused to discuss details regarding Blanchard’s dismissal, calling it a personnel matter.
Russman said the matter was between Blanchard and Conway.
“This is his situation, not my situation,” he said. “I don’t need to know. Jerome is an incredible lawyer and that is beyond dispute.”
Russman said Blanchard’s expertise as a prosecutor will be reflected well in his new defense job.
“I have a lot of respect for him,” said Russman. “It’s a shame (Conway) couldn’t see beyond politics.”
Several sources have reported that Blanchard briefed the attorney general about Conway’s husband, the former Salem police chief. Eric Lamb, who was removed from the county’s Laurie List. The confidential list includes names of law enforcement officers who were found by their bosses to have committed misconduct that could affect their credibility if asked to testify in court. The information must be given to defense lawyers and the court.
Assistant Attorney General James Boffetti, who acted as interim attorney in Rockingham County after James Reams was suspended, emailed prosecutors last May saying that Lamb’s name was never listed on previous Laurie lists should have been marked. Reams claimed it was a mistake, while Conway said she never knew her husband’s name was marked “deleted” and that she never had access to the list.
“I never added a name. I never picked up a name. I’ve never spoken to lawyer Reams about it, ”she said.