Rep. Dan Gordon Says 'Self-Medicating With Alcohol,' Military Trauma Led to Arrests [VIDEO]
Rep. Daniel P. Gordon sat down with Portsmouth Patch on Tuesday to explain his recent arrests, incarceration and why he refuses to step down from office.
Republican Rep. Daniel P. Gordon says "self-medicating with alcohol" to treat post-traumatic stress from wartime service led to his arrests in Massachusetts.
Gordon sat down with Portsmouth Patch on Tuesday to talk about his recent arrest, incarceration and why he refuses to step down from office.
Gordon attributes his past criminal record in Massachusetts to "self-medicating" with alcohol.
"When I returned home from overseas in the Marine Corps, I suffered a lot of issues that returning combat veterans do, namely post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as a physical ailment, and self-medicated it with alcohol.
"Each and everyone of those instances on my Massachusetts' record was directly or indirectly involved with alcohol. I've since received treatment for that...and continue to receive counseling for that."
Gordon, 42, of 35 Allan Ave., Portsmouth, was arrested on Friday, Sept. 16, as a fugitive from justice on a Massachusetts warrant for failure to appear on an eluding charge and other motor vehicle violations, according to the State Police report.
Gordon, a Marine Corps veteran, served in many countries, including Iraq in 1991. He also served in Kuwait, the Philippines, Korea, Thailand, Australia, Japan and Guam.
To hear more from Gordon and his past in Massachusetts, see the video at right.
What led to Gordon's arrest began last Wednesday, when the freshman representative visited the State Police Portsmouth barracks to file a "cyberstalking" complaint. A trooper at the station asked Gordon if he knew his license was expired, according to Gordon.
"It turns out I had a speeding ticket from last year that I had forgotten to pay or I thought I had paid, but apparently the payment was never received and resulted in the suspension of my driver's license," Gordon said.
State Police issued a court summons to Gordon at this time. He is due in Second District Court on Oct. 4 to be arraigned on the misdemeanor, driving on a suspended license charge.
Gordon, who owns and operates his own business, Alliance Building Contractors, said the trooper "was aware" of his past record in Massachusetts. However, it is unknown if State Police were aware of the warrant at this time.
Both State Police and Gordon also refuse to discuss the "cyberstalking" at this time, claiming the incident remains under investigation.
Prior criminal record in Massachusetts
"The things I did were absolutely, emphatically wrong," Gordon said Tuesday about his prior arrests in Massachusetts.
Gordon moved three years ago to Rhode Island from Massachusetts for a "fresh start," as he put it.
Following his arrest Friday, constituents learned about the representative's past criminal record in the Bay State, which included a dismissed charge of attempted murder.
"People that were involved are still loved ones and don't deserve to have their names put out there," Gordon said when asked to discuss the cases. He later referred to the most recent charges as only "minor traffic offenses."
"It's only a minor traffic instance that needs to be cleared up," Gordon said.
Gordon, who owns a construction business, was released Monday on $1,000 bail stemming from anoutstanding warrant for being a fugitive from justice in Massachusetts. He is set to appear on Monday, Oct. 17, for a status hearing with legal counsel.
"The Massachusetts' (charge) is simply a driving infraction and just a misdemeanor...typically, you just pay some fines and that will take care of that," he said.
The representative claims he was "completely unaware" of the outstanding warrant, but was aware of his past criminal record. To see more on this in Gordon's own words, see the video at right.
Gordon says resigning would be a 'disservice to veterans'
On Monday, House Minority Leader Brian Newberry said Gordon should resign if the charges were true.
"The charges are, to say the least, very troubling and if they are true, then I believe Rep. Gordon should resign his seat in the House of Representatives as I do not see how he can effectively represent the people of District 71 given his ongoing legal problems," Newberry wrote in an e-mail.
Gordon says he will not resign, because stepping down would be a "disservice to veterans."
"The example that I'm giving our veterans who have gone through many of the same things that I have, you can overcome these problems and achieve success...that's not something I want to take away from them by being a quitter."