BY HOLLY RAMER
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A former state lawmaker charged with trying to lure a 14-year-old girl into a sexual encounter also smoked marijuana in the Statehouse and sold the drug to several other legislators, but there wasn’t enough evidence to charge them with drug crimes, the attorney general said Friday.
Former state Rep. Kyle Tasker, a 30-year-old Republican, resigned in March after his arrest on three unrelated drug charges and a charge of trying to lure a minor for sex. He and his lawyer haven’t commented on the charges, and his attorney didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment Friday.
According to Attorney General Joseph Foster’s report, a state police review of Tasker’s iPad and Facebook activity led investigators to four state representatives: Democrat Amanda Bouldin and Republicans Joseph Lachance, Pamela Tucker and Ted Wright.
Bouldin told investigators she didn’t buy marijuana from Tasker but smoked it with him in his car and was with him while he smoked it in the Statehouse, the attorney general’s report said. Recreational marijuana use is illegal in the state.
Lachance was the only one who made multiple drug purchases from Tasker, the report said. He told authorities he needed marijuana to help with chronic pain and other conditions and has since obtained a medical marijuana card. He called Tasker the “Club Med of weed,” in reference to the variety of high-end and high-priced strains of the drug he offered.
Lachance and Bouldin, both from Manchester, are up for re-election in November.
Tucker, who did not seek re-election and briefly sought the Republican nomination for a U.S. House seat this year, was “evasive” in her interview with investigators, the attorney general’s report said.
Tucker, of Greenland, said she bought marijuana from Tasker once, along with two vials of “elixir” containing marijuana for “sleep and energy,” according to the report. She said personal problems prompted her to medicate herself and she stopped buying marijuana “because it was hypocritical to use marijuana when her official position as a legislator was to oppose its use,” it said.
Wright, who is from Sanbornville and also did not run for re-election this year, told authorities he bought marijuana to help his wife cope with the debilitating side effects of her breast cancer treatment.
None of the four immediately returned phone calls seeking comment Friday.
House Speaker Shawn Jasper, a Republican from Hudson, said those who have committed crimes should “consider whether their actions have compromised the dignity and integrity of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.”
“There are no charges, and therefore no criminal proceedings, but the voters will decide whether or not the representatives running for re-election deserve their votes,” Jasper said.
At the time of Tasker’s arrest he was in his third two-year term representing the towns of Candia, Deerfield, Northwood and Nottingham. Police say he communicated with a 14-year-old girl over Facebook, offering to get her alcohol and marijuana and proposing sexual encounters. Police say he tried to meet the girl but instead was met by law enforcement officers engaging in an undercover operation with permission from the girl and her mother.
The attorney general’s office concluded there was sufficient evidence to charge Tasker in connection with his drug sales to lawmakers but a jury would be unlikely to convict him. The report said the multiple felonies he already faces are sufficient to hold him accountable.
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