New Hampshire Democratic State Representative-elect Stacie Laughton was for a brief moment a celebrity for Democrats across the country after becoming the first-ever openly transgender person to win an election in the United States. It didn’t last long.
The Laconia Daily Sun reported over the weekend that Laughton is a felon. No one discovered Laughton’s criminal history until after the election, though, because she was legally named Barry Charles Laughton, Jr. when she pleaded guilty to criminal charges in court.
“Laughton, recently elected as one of three lawmakers to represent Hillsborough County House District 31, is a convicted felon and served 4-1/2 months in jail in 2008 for conspiracy to commit credit card fraud,” The Laconia Daily Sun reports. “She was also convicted of tire slashing and at one point reportedly admitted she faked illness to gain an ambulance ride from Weirs Beach back to the heart of Laconia.”
Laughton didn’t think it was necessary to tell the people she was asking to elect her, but she now says she would have talked about it if somebody ever figured it out and asked.
“I didn’t feel it was necessary to tell [constituents], but I felt like if it came to light – which it has – I was going to be honest,” Laughton told Nashua Patch after the story broke. “I was prepared for it to come out during the campaign. I don’t want to step down; I want to serve the people – that’s all I’ve wanted to do, and regardless of my past, I can do it and serve them.”
In May 2007, Laughton — then known as Barry Charles – and her now ex-wife Lisa, opened a credit card in the name of a woman who lived in the same public housing project as them, the Daily Sun reports. Laconia police determined that the Laughtons used the credit card fraudulently to buy electronics and pay bills.