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State rep pleads guilty to assaulting foe during election recount

  • Katherine Rogers



Monitor staff
Friday, December 22, 2017

A Democratic state representative from Concord has pleaded guilty to assaulting a political foe.

Rep. Katherine Rogers accepted a plea deal on a misdemeanor assault charge Friday that suspends a $1,000 fine for good behavior but requires her to take an anger management class.

The charge stems from an incident that took place last November, during a state Senate race recount at the state archives building on South Fruit Street.

Susan Olsen, a prominent gun-rights activist, was volunteering as a Republican observer to watch the recount between incumbent Democrat Andrew Hosmer and Republican Harold French. Olsen claimed that when she asked counters to move ballots closer so she could better see them, Rogers, who was volunteering as a Democratic observer, smacked her upside the head.

“She turns to me and grabs me with one hand and starts to lean in to me like she was going to hug me and basically says, ‘You know, well whatever makes you happy.’ Then she clocked me on the side of the head,” Olsen said in an audio interview with the conservative blog Granite Grok.

Rogers’s attorney, William Christie, said Friday his client, who has often sponsored gun-control legislation, had merely “touched” Olsen, but accepted responsibility.

“No complaint was filed at the time of the incident. Six months later the person, a political adversary, filed a complaint with the police. Today, Representative Rogers accepted responsibility for touching the other person without her permission,” Christie said in an email.

Rogers, a former Concord city councilor and Merrimack County attorney, is serving her sixth-term as a representative and sits on the House Finance Committee. She represents Concord wards 8, 9 and 10.

(Lola Duffort can be reached at 369-3321 or lduffort@cmonitor.com.)