CONCORD - A Keene activist well known to authorities is facing charges that he attempted to get multiple identifications under different names.
Ian Freeman, formerly Ian Bernard, was arrested and taken into custody Friday by New Hampshire State Police on misdemeanor charges of unsworn falsification and prohibition.
Freeman said Saturday that the state was charging him for a "paperwork snafu" when he was obtaining a New Hampshire driver's license and officially changing his last name in November.
"It seems awfully petty," Freeman said.
Freeman was a leader of the group that dubbed itself Robin Hood of Keene and patrolled city streets putting change in expired parking meters, which led to court battle with the city.
The founder of the website freekeene.com, Freeman writes a blog for the site and also hosts a radio program. He is a prominent figure in Keene's liberty activists.
Freeman said when he went to the DMV to get a New Hampshire driver's license, he was told he didn't have the proper paperwork to document his name change from Bernard to Freeman, which he had been using for years. Rather than wait, he used the name Bernard to get the license and intended to change it later, which he did.
"That doesn't mean I had two IDs at the same time," he said.
The complaints filed by the state do not say he held different identifications at the same time. The state said Freeman did apply for his driver's license and a non-driver ID knowingly using a false name.
Freeman wrote in his blog Saturday that he had tried to obtain a voter ID under the name Freeman so he could run for the school board.
He said the local DMV was aware he already had a license and denied his application. Out of "curiosity," he applied for the same ID in Nashua because he wanted to see if DMV workers that did not already know him would also deny his request.
"They also denied me. It was these two attempts that apparently put me on the radar of the state police," Freeman wrote.
Freeman, 33, was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail. He is scheduled for arraignment May 14 in the 8th Circuit Court, Keene District.