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Convicted former New Hampshire state representative arrested in Waterford

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Waterford — A former state representative from New Hampshire who also served as the state's chairman for then Sen. Joe Biden's presidential campaign was captured here Tuesday on charges of being a fugitive from justice.

Lt. Stephen Bellos said the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force asked for assistance in finding James E. Ryan, 56, who was renting an apartment at 31 Vivian St.

Bellos said Ryan was on parole and did not have permission to leave the state, prompting his arrest.

Ryan was found at the home and was held on a $500,000 bond, pending his arraignment in New London Superior Court. During his court appearance Tuesday, Ryan agreed to waive extradition.

The court set a $150,000 cash/surety bond and continued his case to April 16.

Jeffrey J. Lyons, public information officer for the New Hampshire Department of Corrections, said Ryan has been out on parole since June 24, 2013.

Lyons said a parole revocation hearing has to take place before the Parole Board within 45 days of his return to New Hampshire.

A man who answered the door at 31 Vivian St. declined to comment.

Lt. Brett Mahoney said he did not know why Ryan chose to reside in Waterford. He said it is unclear whether Ryan had friends or relatives who live in the area.

Ryan was sentenced Feb. 9, 2010 after pleading guilty to felony charges of theft, forgery and issuing bad checks, according to the New Hampshire Department of Justice Office of the Attorney General.

Ryan was a state representative for the town of Franklin when he stole checks from contributors that were intended for the Committee to Elect House Democrats and money from the Franklin City Democratic Committee's bank account, the Office of the Attorney General said. These thefts occurred between September 2006 and July 2007. Personnel within each committee discovered the thefts, and reported the matter to law enforcement. Ryan resigned from the House of Representatives shortly after charges were filed against him.

Upon his release from prison, he was given a suspended sentence of 7 1/2 to 15 years. He could be incarcerated for 10 years if he reoffends during the suspension. He was also ordered to pay $17,164.92 in restitution.

Prior to his arrest in 2009, Ryan was jailed in 2008 for failing to pay restitution of nearly $9,700 from a then 16-year-old criminal case.

According to the Concord Monitor, Ryan was convicted in 1992 in the Carroll County Superior Court on four counts of forgery. He was also convicted in Hillsborough County Superior Court of theft by unauthorized taking.

He was sentenced to state prison for two to four years and ordered to pay restitution, which he failed to fulfill, leading to his arrest.

Ryan attempted to appeal those convictions. Records filed in the appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court show that he has a history of financial crimes in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Ryan began a law career in Danbury in 1982, but lost his license to practice after he was convicted of larceny and issuing a bad check. He then moved to Massachusetts, where records show that he was convicted in the late 1980s and early 1990s of larceny, issuing bad checks and unauthorized practice of law. The records do not indicate what the sentences were.

On June 5, 2007, Ryan was announced as chairman of Biden's presidential campaign for New Hampshire.

Biden for President Campaign Manager Luis Navarro said in statement at the time that Ryan was a key addition to the campaign.

"Jim understands the importance of New Hampshire in the Presidential nominating process, and I know that his expertise and his leadership that helped to turn New Hampshire blue will prove to be invaluable to our campaign," Navarro said in the statement.

When Biden was announced at Democratic National Convention in Denver as Barack Obama's running mate, Ryan couldn't attend because he was in jail.


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