Criminal Mediation Scheduled for Ex-State Rep. Troy Merner; No Press or Public Allowed

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AG photo

Former Republican State Rep. Troy Merner's mug shot.


Former Republican state Rep. Troy Merner is scheduled for criminal mediation on April 5 in Grafton Superior Court, but the press and public are not allowed to attend.

A court spokesman said criminal mediations are private.

Merner, 63, is charged with wrongful voting, theft by deception, tampering with public records and unsworn falsification.

The charges stem from Merner allegedly serving and collecting mileage the whole last legislative session in the House of Representatives and voting in Lancaster after he moved outside his district to Carroll.

A previous court hearing that was scheduled for March 11 was delayed at Merner’s request. The April 5 criminal mediation will be at 11 a.m. in Grafton Superior Court, courtroom 1, in North Haverhill. Criminal mediations are closed to the public and press.

A dispositional hearing is scheduled at the same court on April 15 at 9 a.m. with 15 minutes allotted.

Merner resigned from the House and his seat on the Lancaster selectboard right after the Attorney General’s Office made public a Sept. 18, 2023, letter to House Speaker Sherman Packard detailing its investigation into Merner’s domicile.

The matter stirred controversy when Merner told some people that House leadership knew he had moved but wanted him to stay on because the Republicans needed his vote with only a slim majority. He hasn’t said who in leadership told him to stay.

Mike Garrity, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, said the Public Integrity Unit’s case remains open and ongoing. The March 11 hearing was continued due to a conflict with defense counsel, Garrity said.

Garrity said the criminal mediation was requested by Merner.

­The indictment alleges that Merner knowingly voted for an office during the March 14, 2023, Lancaster town election and that he was not qualified to vote in Lancaster because he wasn’t living there.

As a class B felony, the wrongful voting charge carries a potential sentence of 3½ to 7 years in the State Prison and a fine of up to $4,000. 

If convicted, he would also lose the right to vote in New Hampshire.

Merner was arrested for the charge in late November 2023 along with a class A misdemeanor count of theft by deception, alleging on mileage cards that he lived in Lancaster when in fact, he resided in Carroll, resulting in Merner receiving greater travel reimbursements to the State House from the state than he was entitled to receive, in an aggregate amount that did not exceed $1,000, according to a press release at the time from the Attorney General’s Office. 

Merner was also charged in late November 2023 with misdemeanor A counts of unsworn falsification and tampering with public records in connection with falsely reporting his address on a General Court mileage card.

“Unlike a Felony Settlement Conference, criminal mediation only requires one party to a case to request mediation and is conducted by either a retired judge or a sitting judge not presiding over the case.  Criminal mediations, like felony settlement conferences, are confidential,” Garrity said.

Lancaster Town Manager Ben Gaetjens-Oleson is leaving the job Friday. He will be the new safety and security director at Santa’s Village in Jefferson.

This last year has been very stressful because of the charges against Merner, he said.

The Lancaster Board of Selectmen has twice sought $3,575 reimbursement from Merner for the stipend Lancaster paid him for 13 months as a selectman after he had moved.

Oleson said Merner has not repaid the stipend. Merner wasn’t charged with any crime for accepting the stipend after he moved to Carroll.

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