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Officials mum on Judge Paul Moore's absence from Nashua courthouse

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Sunday News Correspondent

October 22. 2017 12:17AM

Court administrators are not releasing information about why Judge Paul Moore of Bedford has not been receiving judicial assignments at the 9th Circuit Court, Nashua District Division. (Kimberly Houghton/Sunday News Correspondent file photo)

NASHUA - Details are scarce as to why Judge Paul Moore is not presiding over hearings in the 9th Circuit Court.

Moore, who is hospitalized at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, remains employed with the court system but was not in court last week.

Witnesses reportedly saw Moore escorted from the courthouse.

Carole Alfano, the court's spokesman, refused to comment on those reports or on speculation that Moore might have been removed from the bench and placed on administrative leave before being hospitalized.

"Judge Moore is a circuit court judge and state employee who is on the state payroll," she said Friday afternoon, declining to elaborate on why Moore is not receiving judicial assignments.

Alfano refused to comment on whether Moore is being investigated for any reason.

"It just puts me in an interesting position here," she said.

Administrative Services Commissioner Charles Arlinghaus said Moore is currently employed by the state but could not provide more information.

Moore began his judicial duties in 2001. Two years ago, following a review by the New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee, Moore voluntarily stepped down as president and treasurer of MooreMart, a volunteer organization that ships care packages to troops overseas.

While there were no complaints filed against Moore when he stepped down in 2015, perceived conflicts of interest prompted his decision to walk away from the nonprofit organization he helped create in 2004.

Thirty-five years ago, Moore, a former Army Ranger, nearly died during a parachuting accident in Korea, suffering a serious spinal injury.

Although he was in a full body cast for nine months and was told he would never walk again, Moore endured 18 months of rehabilitation and therapy before beginning to see progress, he told the newspaper previously.

Although Moore still has paralysis in parts of both legs and his toes, which require him to use a crutch, he is able to walk.

When reached by telephone on Friday, Moore, 59, said he was in a hospital bed.

When asked whether he was recently escorted out of the Nashua courthouse, Moore said, "No, no," and would not talk further. He could not be reached later in the day for subsequent comments.

Two years ago Moore said he had become increasingly aware of the "perception of potential conflicts" that may arise between his charitable endeavors with MooreMart and his role as a local judge.

"During my tenure as a circuit court justice, I have been careful to comply with the judicial ethical rules, but concerns have recently been brought to my attention that I must address," Moore said at the time. "Due to the fact that my role as a board member and officer of MooreMart could possibly have a perceived adverse effect on the public's perception of the judiciary, I cannot continue my association with MooreMart at this time."

Ted Luszey, who has taken over Operation Care for Troops, formerly MooreMart, said Friday that Moore was undergoing a slew of medical tests.

"He had some chest pain. He went to his doctor and literally fainted in the doctor's office. They admitted him on Tuesday or Wednesday," said Luszey.

Moore, of Bedford, was named the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News New Hampshire Citizen of the Year for 2011.

He also has received the William A. Grimes award for judicial professionalism.

In 2007, he was presented with a Spirit of New Hampshire award for his volunteerism.

In 2008, President George Bush honored MooreMart with a letter of appreciation.

In 2011, Moore received a commendation from Gov. John Lynch for his commitment to veterans and a tribute from the Points of Light Foundation.

khoughton@newstote.com


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