Rep. Laurie Sanborn of Bedford steps down

A Republican lawmaker who owns a casino resigned as head of a study committee on gambling Friday, a day after authorities said she and her husband were under criminal investigation. Rep. Laurie Sanborn of Bedford was the chairperson of a commission that began an extensive review of the state’s charitable gaming industry last month. Her decision to step down from that role was appropriate “so there will be no distractions from the good work they intend to do,” House Speaker Sherm Packard said in statement. Sanborn and her husband, former state Sen. Andy Sanborn, own a bar and casino in Concord and recently won approval to build a much larger venue a few miles away. But the attorney general’s office said Thursday that it has launched a criminal investigation after finding evidence that Andy Sanborn fraudulently obtained COVID-19 relief aid and spent it on luxury cars for himself and his wife. That investigation will delve into “the actions of all of the individuals and entities involved,” said Attorney General John Formella, who also referred the matter to federal authorities. Meanwhile, the state lottery commission moved to permanently revoke Andy Sanborn’s license to operate casinos.