A former New Hampshire lawmaker was charged yesterday for allegedly calling in a false bomb threat to a local hospital.
Stacie Laughton, 31, a Democrat, is described by multiple media outlets as the state’s first even openly transgender legislator elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives or apparently in any other U.S. jurisdiction.
According to coverage in the Nashua Patch, “Laughton was born a man and now identifies as a woman.”
Laughton turned herself in to police yesterday on an active warrant for the incident that occurred on February 27, which prompted cops and hospital security to sweep the facility for any explosive devices. Nothing was found. Police detectives in Nashua subsequently identified the ex-politician as a suspect in the incident.
Laughton faces a felony charge of falsely reporting an explosive.
She reportedly surrendered to authorities after completing two weeks of treatment in a Vermont hospital for bipolar disorder. Released on a $50,000 bond, Laughton has an April 16 court date.
If convicted on the false bomb threat made to the Nashua hospital, she could face up to seven years in jail, AP noted.
After making history by winning the legislative election in 2012, Laughton stepped down just a few weeks later when information surfaced about her background that cast a cloud over her eligibility to serve under New Hampshire election law.
“In 2008, under the name of Barry Laughton, she pleaded guilty to charges of fraudulent use of a credit card, conspiracy to commit identity fraud and falsifying physical evidence, which required restitution,” the New Hampshire Union Leader reported.
Laughton expressed remorse to the Union Leader for the hoax bomb threat, adding, “I have had a mental illness my whole life, and I guess this was my worst break with it. I was untreated for a long time, and I didn’t have medication…I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone, and it was totally out of character for me. I have put a lot behind me, and I never thought I would do this in a million years.”
The former lawmaker/transgender trailblazer attempted to reenter politics in 2014, WMUR of Manchester reported, but New Hampshire election officials turn down that bid.
“Last year, the state Ballot Law Commission denied her request to run again, agreeing with the Attorney General’s Office that Laughton’s 2008 felony convictions for identity fraud and falsifying evidence disqualified her. She would be eligible to run again in 2018 when her suspended sentence ends.”
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