Former NH lawmaker faces multiple charges related to moving out of his district

By HOLLY RAMER

Associated Press

Published: 11-28-2023 3:56 PM

CONCORD, N.H. — A former New Hampshire lawmaker who kept his seat for a year after moving out of his district was charged Tuesday with multiple crimes related to his change of address.

Troy Merner, a Republican, won a fourth term representing Lancaster in the House in 2022, around the same time he moved to Carroll. He resigned in September after the attorney general’s office investigated a complaint that he had continued to vote in Lancaster after his move.

On Tuesday, Merner was charged with wrongful voting, a class B felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a permanent loss of voting privileges. He also was charged with three misdemeanors: theft by deception, unsworn falsification and tampering with public records. Those charges allege he received excessive mileage reimbursement by claiming he lived in Lancaster.

New Hampshire law requires lawmakers to live in the district they represent. Lawmaker are paid only $100 a year but are reimbursed for their travel to and from Concord.

A phone number listed for Merner was out of service and court documents do not list an attorney representing him. He is due in court Dec. 28.

In September, Merner told the Caledonian-Record he moved to Carroll in November 2022, though the attorney general’s office concluded his residency in Lancaster ended with the sale of his house that August.

Until that determination, Merner said he had planned to serve out the remainder of his terms as both a state representative and member of the Lancaster Select Board. He said the arrangement made him uneasy but he had wanted to finish is work on behalf of his constituents.

“I represent the people, I don’t represent myself,” he said.

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