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Thu November 29, 2012
Nashua Rep.-Elect Stacie Laughton To Step Down
Nashua Democrat Rep.-elect Stacie Laughton has decided to step down.
Laughton announced her decision to resign Thursday, though the question remains whether her criminal history disqualified her from serving office.
Earlier this week, news reports surfaced that she had been convicted of a felony. But she remained undecided about whether to resign. Laughton said Republicans calling for her resignation were not a factor in her decision.
She says she wanted to do what was best for the state's Legislature and her party. She says she intends to run again for state representative.
In 2008, Laughton served four and a half months in jail for credit card fraud.
Known at the time as Barry Charles Laughton Junior, she also received a suspended sentence for 10 years based on good behavior. State law prohibits convicted felons from holding office until the final discharge of their sentence.
But Nashua City Clerk Paul Bergeron says the law isn’t clear and he’s looking to the state to settle the issue.
"Unfortunately the law doesn't define what 'final discharge' means," Bergeron said Thursday. "That’s why we’ve requested and I believe the Secretary of State’s office has also requested, that the Attorney General look at the statute, and provide us with a definition."
Laughton would have been the state’s first openly transgender lawmaker. A special election will be scheduled to fill her seat.