Alderman at Large Joe Kelly Levasseur is moving to block the release of thousands of his emails released or about to be released by the city as a result of Right to Know requests first filed by the New Hampshire Union Leader and subsequently by Girard at Large. The injunction names the city of Manchester, City Solicitor Tom Clark, The Girard at Large Radio Show and its host Richard H. Girard as respondents.
In a multi-count injunction Levasseur is expected to file in Hillsborough Superior Court, Levasseur made statements that are not only not true, but easily dispelled. For example, Girard at Large did not file the original Right to Know request complained about in the court filing. The New Hampshire Union Leader did. Upon learning of their request, one from which they chose not to collect the resulting information, Girard at Large asked for the material gathered. Levasseur also repeatedly claimed that the request was for communications between an alderman and his constituents, communications he says are exempt from the Right to Know Law. In fact, the request was for communications between an aldermen and the departments which are overseen by the aldermen.
Levasseur actually went to Girard’s house at approximately 10:45 AM to hand deliver the as of yet filed court document. Girard, who wasn’t home at the time, said he saw the move as a needless act of intimidation. “If he wanted me to have it before filing it, he could have sent an email,” said Girard. “Going to my home unannounced to make a coming lawsuit known is an intimidating act.”
The injunction seeks to prevent the city from releasing any more of Levasseur’s emails and to prevent Girard from releasing any of the emails he’d already obtained. For his part, Girard said he will release any and all of the material until he’s told not to by a court. “There’s no reason why I wouldn’t,” he said. Levasseur also want the court to force Girard to pay fees to cover the staff time needed to gather the information because the city did not charge him for the information. Said Girard, “on the one hand, he wants to take the emails I received back, on the other he wants the court to impose a fee for getting them. So, he wants me to pay for something he doesn’t want me to have, which is bizarre. Regardless, why would I pay anything for a request I did not initiate for information that was already pulled together for the media outlet that did?”
We’ll have more on this during tomorrow’s show. In the meantime, here’s the document that Levasseur delivered to Girard’s house today.
Publisher’s NOTE: Since publishing this story, Girard at Large has learned that Union Leader reporter Nancy West did in fact obtain the material from the city’s Information Systems Department and, as we did, went there with a thumb drive to obtain the material without any charge. We’ll have more on this tomorrow. The request was originally made at the end of August. Our request was made in January.