Terence has devoted his professional life to the vocation of public service.
He currently serves as Rochester's first city attorney. As City Attorney for the fifth largest city in New Hampshire, Terence provides legal advice to the City Manager, all city departments, the City Council, Police Commission, land use boards, and all other city subcommittees and boards on a range of issues.
He represents the city in all civil proceedings, no matter what the venue, up to and including, our supreme court. In fact, on more than one occasion, he has successfully argued on behalf of the city at the New Hampshire Supreme Court. In his capacity as City Attorney, he has appeared before both the Strafford and Rockingham County Superior Courts, circuit court, the Board of Tax and Land Appeals (BTLA), the New Hampshire Water Council, as well as commissions of various state agencies. Further, he negotiates and renegotiates contracts on behalf of the city, including an extremely lucrative host community agreement with Waste Management, which will provide much-needed and ever-increasing revenues for the city’s operating budget.
Additionally, Terence is the staff liaison for the Codes and Ordinances Committee, which is tasked with creating new laws, updating old laws, eliminating unnecessary regulations, and analyzing proposed local regulations.
Being the first in-house city attorney for Rochester, Terence also created the entire prosecution office by hiring a full-time attorney prosecutor, creating positions for and employing legal assistants, and successfully seeking a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Grant to fully-fund Rochester’s first-ever Victim Witness Advocate position. As head of the Legal Department, Terence supervisors all of the above-mentioned personnel and is responsible for creating and operating within the Legal Department’s budget annually.
As a testament to his fiscal responsibility, Terence’s department comes in under budget every year.
Previously he served as an Assistant County Attorney in both Rockingham and Carroll Counties where he prosecuted cases ranging from speeding tickets to Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault. In addition to his employment in New Hampshire, Terence was appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney in Alabama where he prosecuted a vast array of federal crimes. He was a member of the district’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the lead attorney on Counter-Terrorism, Counter-Proliferation and Counter-Espionage Operations, requiring a Top Secret SCI clearance. He also spent a year in private practice at the highly-regarded firm of Hoefle, Phoenix, Gormley, and Roberts in Portsmouth.
Terence's service is marked by compassion. He always strives to prosecute the major players and practice leniency whenever possible against economically and socially disadvantaged individuals caught up in the system.
O’Rourke is also defined by his experience as a military officer. By joining the Army, he continued a commitment to this nation honored by his father and grandfathers before him. In the O’Rourke household, the military is known as “the service;” Terence answered the call.
From his time in the military, Terence learned the importance of steady, honest, and adaptable leadership. Most importantly, O’Rourke learned the truth of his alma mater Marquette University’s motto: Cura Personalis or “care for the entire person.” As a military officer, you must care for each and every soldier in your unit. If one soldier feels forgotten, the whole unit suffers.
Terence proudly served as a Field Artillery Officer, where he attained the rank of Captain. During his time in the Army, Terence acted as a senior tactical and training advisor to the Iraqi Army. Additionally, Terence was responsible for managing a multi-million dollar budget, including handling procurement, supervising commercial vendor contractual agreements, and the Department of Defense appropriation system. Additionally, he obtained a certification as a Federal Comptroller from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General School. Moreover, he was described as being “a diligent worker who filled numerous critical functions on a greatly reduce brigade staff. From budget management to unit movement, Captain O’Rourke met the challenge in any capacity needed to ensure mission success.”
For his service in the Iraq War, Terence earned a Bronze Star Medal for "exceptionally meritorious service" and the Combat Action Badge for working in hostile combat zones in Iraq.
O'Rourke earned his Juris Doctor degree from Tulane University. While at Tulane, Terence also obtained a certification in European Legal Studies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Marquette University.
Terence is a proud husband and father, daily runner and weight lifter, voracious reader, and a staunch Red Sox fan.