Chris Sununu: What’s the Truth?
Chris Sununu has been touting his “record” as an environmental engineer and Waterville Valley CEO as the reason why voters should elect him Governor of New Hampshire. But what’s the truth about that “record”?
His “record” as an environmental engineer – here’s what he says:
- In March, Sununu told Concord News Radio, “I was an environmental engineer for eight years. I did everything from designing remediation systems to clean up some of the nastiest hazardous waste sites in the country. I have a very front lines understanding of how to develop, how to grow your economy but you do it responsibly.”
- In the NH1 Gubernatorial debate, Sununu clearly stated, “When [Van Ostern] was a spokesperson and working on the John Edwards campaign in 2004, I was cleaning up asbestos landfills in downtown Nashua.”
- His website biography says “Chris worked for 10 years as an environmental engineer in various regions across the United States from New Hampshire to California, designing systems and solutions for cleaning up some of our country’s most hazardous wastes sites.”
But what’s the truth?
- The State of New Hampshire does not have any records on Chris Sununu working as an engineer in the Granite State. I checked the NH Office of Professional Licensure and Certification’s (OPLC) online database or “licensee lookup” to verify his engineering credentials. But there was nothing there: no record of an expired license, no current license, nothing. So I contacted the office directly with a right-to-know request asking for a copy of Chris T Sununu’s professional engineer license. Here’s how Peter Danles, the NH OPLC Executive Director, answered my right-to-know request: “To the extent that you are seeking the production of Chris T. Sununu’s present or past license to practice as a professional engineer, the OPLC has no records that are responsive to your request.”
- New Hampshire state law, RSA 310-A:11, prohibits anyone from practicing engineering in the state without a professional engineer’s license – except for: out-of-state engineers who receive a temporary permit; engineers employed by the federal government; or “an employee or a subordinate of a person holding an engineering license under this subdivision, provided such work does not include final designs or decisions and is done under the direct responsibility, checking, and supervision of a person holding an engineering license under this subdivision.”
- I looked for information about his licensing status in California, where he said he had worked. Documents show that Sununu did obtain an “Engineer-in-training” certification (EIT 113938) from the State of California in 2002 but never received a “Professional Engineer” license.
- California law requires that a licensed engineer maintain “responsible charge” of engineering work done by engineers-in-training and other unlicensed workers.
I reached out to Sununu’s campaign for information about his work, but they would not respond to me.
So, is Chris Sununu saying that experience as a subordinate, supervised employee is why New Hampshire voters should elect him Governor?
Does he have a professional engineer’s license somewhere, that I wasn’t able to find?
What’s the truth? And why won’t his campaign comment on this or give me more information about his “engineering” qualifications?
Sununu’s “record” as Waterville Valley CEO – here’s what he says:
- “Getting the Job Done” and his “business leadership” is why voters should elect him.
But what’s the truth?
- Sununu claims to be a big “job creator.” However, just last week we reported that Waterville Valley, the ski resort purchased by the Sununu family in 2010 has actually been loosing jobs ever since Chris Sununu took over as CEO. Waterville Valley has lost over 60 jobs in the last five years – almost a 7% drop in the number of jobs.
- NHPR recently reported that in 2015 “Waterville Valley logged fewer than half the number of skiers it did in 2010” when the Sununu family purchased the resort. Sununu told the Union Leader that “Everyone had tough years last year. Frankly, my business got off better than most.” Truth? Sununu is correct that all of the White Mountain ski resorts saw a reduction in visitors in 2015. But Loon Mountain saw a drop of about 1%, while Waterville Valley saw nearly a 45% drop.
- Sununu’s “business leadership” includes cutting workers’ hours to avoid providing his employees with healthcare. In a video, Sununu stated: “I have employees that have worked for me for 20 years and I have told them I can’t bring you back or have had to tell employees we have to keep your hours down to 29 hours.” Truth? The Sununu Family only purchased Waterville Valley in 2010. Chris himself is only 41 years old. So who exactly was working for Chris Sununu 20 years ago (when he was a college student)?
Sununu has over-inflated his time and experience as CEO of Waterville Valley. Under his “leadership” Waterville Valley has lost jobs and lost customers. He’s cut his employees’ hours rather than provide them with health insurance.
And this is the “record” he’s running on? This is why New Hampshire voters should elect him Governor?
Is it possible… just possible… that after his “record” as Waterville CEO… and his 10 years “engineering” (apparently as a subordinate employee)… that Chris Sununu is running for Governor because he needs a new job and he doesn’t want to go back into the family business (Sununu Enterprises) where he used to “work”?
What’s the truth, here?