Claremont Council Removes Rep. Stone From Local Committees; Still On House Criminal Justice Panel

Print More


Chiara Tosi-Nelson is pictured speaking Wednesday night at the Claremont City Council meeting.


CLAREMONT – State Rep. Jon Stone, R-Claremont, was removed from two local committees by the Claremont City Council Wednesday night after about a dozen citizens spoke out against his actions when he was a police officer years ago that were first reported April 5 by’s  Damien Fisher.

Assistant Claremont Mayor Debora Matteau told the crowd that attended the meeting that she was a political friend of Stone’s, but was horrified when she read the documents that were released about his actions 18 years ago.

Stone’s Claremont law enforcement career ended when he threatened to kill fellow police officers in a shooting spree, and murder his chief after raping the chief’s wife and children, all while he was already under scrutiny for his inappropriate relationship with a teen girl, according to the internal investigation reports.

Matteau, like several of the people who spoke out, said it didn’t matter that the events occurred years ago. A few also mentioned that even after they became public recently, Stone has made no apologies. Stone was not at the meeting and didn’t return a request for comment earlier in the day.

The vote was 5 to 3 for removing Stone from the Claremont Development Authority and the policy committee effective immediately. Some councilors suggested suspending Stone until they could get a legal opinion, but Matteau was adamant that they vote for removal.

Chiara Tosi-Nelson, who along with her husband Ben, owns Claremont Spice and Dry Goods, spoke passionately about Stone bringing a black eye to Claremont.

“Claremont voters already booted Stone off the city council…and they showed up once again today,” Tosi-Nelson said, referring to Stone losing his city council seat in a close race in November.

“Assistant Mayor Matteau spoke from the heart and spoke about justice and about doing the right thing,” Tosi-Nelson said, praising her fellow citizens for speaking out.

State Rep. Hope Damon, D-Croydon, said she wanted to address the group of around 40 people who attended the council meeting as representing Sullivan County even though she doesn’t live in Claremont. She didn’t address whether Stone should be removed from the local committees.

But Damon did say Rep. Stone’s actions against Claremont’s law enforcement community “should unequivocally disqualify” him from serving on the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

“Regrettably House Speaker (Sherman) Packard has demonstrated an unwillingness to remove Rep. Stone from the committee,” Damon said.

Packard has been asked publicly but has remained silent.

“We’re also deeply dismayed that Rep. Stone has not publicly commented or expressed any regret for his past actions against Claremont police officers and their families,” Damon said.

Damon also mentioned that Stone still manages former President Donald Trump’s Sullivan County campaign.

Despite the shocking report, Damon said he is still listed as an endorser on Kelly Ayotte’s website. Ayotte, a Republican former U.S. Senator is running in the primary to become governor.

Damon also told the crowd that any citizen can ask for a House ethics investigation into Stone.

Attempts to reach the House Republican office earlier in the day were unsuccessful.

Last week the chairman of the Sullivan County Republican Party, Michael Aron, released a statement in support of Stone, and his wife, Rep. Judy Aron, R-South Acworth, said she supports him as well.

“It’s disappointing but not surprising to see desperate attempts to smear the reputation of a dedicated public servant like Representative Jon Stone. The resurgence of more than decade-old allegations is a transparent political ploy aimed at undermining Representative Stone’s integrity and distracting from his outstanding record of service,” Michael Aron said.

“The reports are nothing more than a collection of allegations and hearsay, which were never substantiated and did not result in any criminal charges against Representative Stone. It’s evident that these efforts are politically motivated and intended to distract from the meaningful work being done on behalf of the people,” he said.

Stone, who co-owns the Black Op Arms in Claremont, built an AR-15 rifle for former President Trump in 2016 and reportedly continues to be a strong supporter.

Ayotte was attorney general in 2006 when Stone was being investigated. Ayotte stopped by Stone’s gun shop and posted a picture of him with her on Twitter on March 10. Her campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“Loved seeing one of our signs outside Black Op Arms in Claremont! Thank you to Rep. Jonathan Stone for showing us around your store,” Ayotte tweeted. She has been silent about Stone since the formerly confidential records were released.

Comments are closed.