Washinton, NH: Small-town criminals, or so says the state

Washington, a charmingly scenic town about 40 miles west of Concord, boasts that it’s the first town in the brand new United States named after George Washington. Its picturesque common is, at 1,507 feet in elevation, the highest town center in the state, and its 1,100 or so hearty residents are scattered around nearly 50 square miles of rugged landscape crisscrossed with rural, often-unpaved roads.

Its Currier and Ives perfection, though, masks the fact that Washington is also home to a nest of criminal scofflaws headed by a ruthless gang leader, one Barbara Gaskell.

…After sentencing Gaskell to the 21st-century equivalent of a public stockade, state bureaucrats informed her and other town officials that a new election will be held at a date chosen by the state and that the secretary of state “will appoint an election monitor to directly observe all aspects of your conduct” in that election.

Yes, an “election monitor”! The sort of thing usually reserved for scofflaw nations considered unlikely to adhere to the law!

Katy Burns: Small-town criminals, or so says the state



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