Conn. GOP to challenge AG candidate's qualifications

John O'Brien Feb. 25, 2010, 1:19pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut's Republican Party wants to intervene in a lawsuit filed by a Democratic attorney general candidate who hopes to have her eligibility for the office decided.

The Republican State Central Committee on Tuesday authorized the hiring of a lawyer to represent the GOP in Susan Bysiewicz's suit, the Hartford Courant reported. Bysiewicz previously asked current Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to issue an opinion on her issue.

The report says the Republicans have hired attorney Eliot Gersten. Former state Sen. George Jepsen is also seeking the Democratic nomination.

Bysiewicz is an attorney, but state law requires 10 years of "active practice" for an attorney general candidate.

There is some question as to whether Bysiewicz has filled that requirement.

"Had the General Assembly intended only that the Attorney General be a member of the Connecticut bar for ten years, regardless of whether he actually practiced law, it could have said so without using the words 'active practice,'" wrote Blumenthal, who is running for U.S. Senate.

"Maintenance of active bar status requires only compliance with mandatory filings and payment of certain professional fees, and does not require that an attorney engage in the practice of law at all."

Bysiewicz has been secretary of state since 1998.

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