Derry state representative responds to arrest, video

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Aug. 27—DERRY — A Derry state representative is encouraging others to learn from what she calls a mistake; an arrest earlier this year for a DUI charge in Derry.

State Rep. Erica Layon was arrested May 26 at approximately 9:09 p.m. and taken into custody after her Toyota was seen “weaving,” according to a police report.

Layon has since pleaded guilty to those charges, losing her license for nine months as part of her sentence. She is eligible to petition for an earlier reinstatement.

A police dashboard video of Layon’s arrest is now circulating the internet, showing the Derry legislator being questioned at length by Derry police in the driveway of her Tsienneto Road home.

“While I did not think I was impaired at the time of the incident, it became obvious to me when watching the video that I was not myself,” Layon said in a statement to the Derry News. “I believe in taking personal responsibility for all my actions and I am embarrassed by and deeply regret what occurred.”

Layon, 42, was elected as one of Derry’s 10 Republican representatives in November 2020 and is currently on the Sept. 13 primary ballot.

She currently serves as the vice chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee and is also part of the House Education Committee, according to her online site.

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In the police video, Layon is seen speaking at length to first responders about a long list of topics, as officers repeatedly mention to her they felt she was slurring her words.

“I’m seeing slurred speech,” one officer said.

She continues talking about potential elevated blood sugar levels, but fire department officials tested her and said those numbers were within normal range.

Layon reported having two glasses of wine, but later recanted, admitting to three glasses.

She told officers that she had a bad day; the New Hampshire House had rejected HB 1431, a “parental rights” bill that Layon supported.

Layon also made mention of former Derry Town Councilor Jim Morgan as she was handcuffed and led off by police.

“How much did Jim Morgan pay you guys?” Layon asked.

Morgan is consulting with legal counsel.

“It is unfortunate as a lawmaker she would accuse me of a crime,” Morgan said. “I am in talks with my attorney for defamation and I’m hopeful for a positive outcome.”

With the primary election only a few weeks away, the New Hampshire Democratic Party is also speaking out about Layon, referring to the police video and some comments she made.

“Almost immediately upon being questioned by officers in Derry, Rep. Erica Layon tried to use her political connections to dissuade police from continuing their arrest,” said Ray Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party in a statement. “The instinct to try to use her political connections to protect herself speaks volumes about how she views her role as a public servant.”

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Buckley continued in the statement that it’s up to the people of Derry to demonstrate, “sound judgment Rep. Layon failed to show and elect new leaders who will better represent them.”

Layon said she takes personal responsibility for her actions and she hopes the situation won’t overshadow past accomplishments.

“In the future, instead of believing that I will recognize when I become impaired I will simply have nothing to drink when I know I’ll be driving,” she said. “I encourage others to learn from my mistake and take the same conservative approach.”

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