New Hampshire's history-making transgender state representative has announced she will resign after news of her criminal record surfaced.
As Nashua Patch is reporting, State Representative-Elect Stacie Laughton decided to step down after it was revealed that she had served four months in Belknap County House of Corrections following a 2008 credit card fraud conviction.
Laughton said she will formally resign her seat via a letter to be sent to the Secretary of State's office, Patch notes. Had she not resigned, she would have been ineligible to take office for six more years.
The Laconia Daily Sun, which broke the news of Laughton's criminal past last week, notes that she was also convicted of tire slashing and reportedly once admitted she faked illness to gain an ambulance ride. As Patch points out, Laughton was sentenced to 7 1/2 to 15 years for conspiracy to commit credit card fraud and 3 1/2 to 7 years for the falsifying physical evidence, but those were suspended pending 10 years of good behavior.
The Sun reporter who wrote the story said she was unaware that Laughton (who was known as Barry "Stacie" Laughton at the time of the conviction) had legally changed her name.
Though she was "extremely disappointed" at having to resign, Laughton said she isn't planning to step away from the public eye entirely. "I'm going to stay involved and continue my activism and the advocacy work I've done. I'm very bold and not afraid to put myself out there, despite my past. I won't stop serving my community in whatever capacity I can."
Last week, Laughton had said she expected news of her past to come out during the campaign.
New Hampshire State House Majority Leader Pete Silva, R-Nashua, called for Laughton's resignation Nov. 26, saying she had failed to inform Nashua voters and therefore should resign. “While I believe in a person’s ability to be rehabilitated and become a productive member of the community, I also believe it is a candidate’s duty to fully disclose their personal history to allow the voters an opportunity to make an informed decision,” Silva wrote in a statement quoted by Patch. “Ms. Laughton failed to give the voters of her district that very basic amount of trust and respect.”