Jan 31, 2016 1:19 PM

NH lawmaker criticized after van photographed partly in handicapped parking space

CONCORD - A photo of a state lawmaker's van taking up part of a designated handicapped space in a Concord shopping center is making the rounds on Facebook.

The picture and a message was sent via Facebook to Gov. Maggie Hassan from Lynne Emerson.

"Madam Governor:
May we please identify the State Rep who belongs to this vehicle and license plate?
As a disabled person who relies on access to handicap parking spaces, I am appalled by the inconsiderate behavior depicted. Further, it is my understanding that the driver had the issue pointed out to them and simply brushed it aside with a "I'll only be a few minutes."
First, it's illegal no matter the duration. Second, I reiterate the fact that it's incredibly inconsiderate and disrespectful of the disabled community.
I expect better from our legislators and leaders."

The Toyota van belongs to Hooksett state Rep. David Hess who said that he and his wife were in Concord on Friday. He went to the Statehouse that afternoon, and she borrowed the van to do some shopping at the Storrs Street plaza where the photo was taken.

Hess, reached at home on Sunday, said his wife was not home to comment, but he acknowledged she had parked illegally if the photo was accurate. He does not use Facebook, hadn't seen the photo and was unaware of the criticism.

State Rep. Timothy Horrigan, also on Facebook, defended Hess - but not the parking job.

"It's David Hess, a fine gentleman and a very good state rep, who actually has had some medical issues in recent years. He likely could qualify for a placard. That said, the problem this time is (apparently) that he did a very bad job of parking in the regular space right next to the handicapped space. Even if he had the placard dangling from the rear view mirror he would still be in the wrong."

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