Jessica M. Karmasek Mar. 20, 2013, 2:17pm

CONCORD, N.H. (Legal Newsline) -- New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney says he has decided to leave his post as the state's top lawyer after 14 years.

Delaney sent a letter to Gov. Margaret Wood Hassan Tuesday, announcing his departure.

The attorney general said he wants to return to private practice.

"I have cherished my time serving in leadership of New Hampshire's law enforcement community," he wrote in the two-page letter to Hassan.

"It has been a privilege to serve as their attorney general, and I extend my sincere thanks to all of the men and women in law enforcement for their support and friendship during my administration."

Delaney was appointed by former Gov. John Lynch in 2009.

He actually joined the Attorney General's Office in 1999, initially serving as an assistant attorney general. He then served as the homicide unit chief in the office until 2004, when he became deputy attorney general.

Delaney served in that capacity until 2006, when he left the post to become Lynch's legal counsel.

He then took over for former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte in 2009. Ayotte resigned to pursue a bid for the U.S. Senate, after three-term incumbent Judd Gregg announced his retirement.

Delaney was officially sworn in as attorney general on Aug. 24, 2009, after being unanimously confirmed by the state's Executive Council.

The five-member council is the executive body of the state. It advises the governor on all matters and provides a check on the governor's power. New Hampshire is one of the few states that has an executive council.

The council has veto power over pardons, contracts with a value greater than $5,000 and nominations.

In this case, it will have to confirm Hassan's nominee by a majority vote.

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