Portsmouth City Councilor Sorry for Telling Friend To Delete McIntyre Project Emails

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Portsmouth City Councilor John Tabor is pictured disclosing the fact that he suggested a friend delete emails about the McIntyre Project.

John Tabor speaks at 1:46:56 on this YouTube video of the March 18, 2024 Portsmouth City Council meeting.

PORTSMOUTH – City Councilor John Tabor apologized for sending an email to a friend suggesting she delete emails related to the McIntyre Project a week before the city sued SoBow Square LLC, its development partner in the project.

At the Portsmouth City Council meeting Monday, Tabor detailed the contents of the April 4, 2023 email.

Tabor said: “I fell that I need to make a disclosure.

“During the lawsuit discovery process an email emerged in which I advised a friend after a McIntyre conversation best to delete all the McIntyre conversation and jottings in case of subpoenas because the developer who is very litigious might find them,” Tabor said of Redgate/Kane, which is also known as SoBow Square LLC.

He went on, “I want to disclose this because it was an error in judgment on my part even though there was no litigation underway at the time.”

Tabor didn’t say at the meeting who the email was sent to, but Stephanie Seacord, Portsmouth’s public information officer sent a press release shortly after the meeting identifying the recipient as Anne Weidman, a volunteer on the city’s Economic Development Commission.

“This email exchange was identified last week from within over 40,000 pages of discovery documents reviewed by outside counsel over the last several months. New Hampshire law requires that parties to litigation properly preserve all records related to that action,” Seacord wrote.

Tabor told the council he didn’t delete any of his own emails related to the project, but didn’t want his friend caught up in the litigation. Reached by phone Tuesday, Tabor declined to comment further because of the pending litigation.

“I can’t apologize enough for my lapse of judgment in a misguided attempt to keep this person out of the fray and I am willing to do whatever is necessary to prove that I did not delete any McIntyre emails,” Tabor said, including having his electronic devices examined to prove he hasn’t deleted any of the emails related to McIntyre.

Mayor Deaglan McEachern said, “While we are reassured by John’s representation that he did not delete any emails related to the McIntyre project, we will have a forensic review conducted by a qualified expert of his devices to confirm that no emails were deleted.” 

 The lawsuit against SoBow Square LLC was filed in Rockingham County Superior Court, asking the court to find Portsmouth fully complied with its obligations under the April 2022 Settlement Agreement, and to find the developer committed numerous material breaches of that agreement. 

 “Other claims in the suit seek damages for breach of contract and unfair and deceptive business practices. The City claims these actions by the Developer prevented it from filing a timely application to the National Park Service to acquire the Thomas J. McIntyre Federal Building from the General Services Administration (GSA) for one dollar through the National Historic Monument Program,” Seacord wrote.

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